Pilots at American Airlines' subsidiary, Piedmont Airlines, approved a new contract on Tuesday that could bring larger regional jets to the carrier's fleet.
Seventy-seven percent of the votes were cast in favor of the new contract which also provides Piedmont pilots the opportunity to get hired at American or US Airways mainline operations.
"American is pleased pilots at Piedmont Airlines have voted to ratify a tentative agreement that was reached with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) on August 22," American said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Piedmont to add jet aircraft to their current fleet of turbo props to connect our customers in regional markets to American’s growing global network."
Piedmont is a regional carrier that currently operates under the US Airways Express brand using 44 deHavilland DHC-8 turbo prop aircraft. It employs about 350 pilots and is headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland.
I am very pleased to report our pilots have ratified the tentative agreement we reached with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) with a decisive 77 percent of the vote. As you know, this agreement, which will now become part of our Collective Bargaining Agreement with ALPA, significantly broadens our options for re-fleeting Piedmont Airlines and positions our company for future success in a highly competitive industry.
We would like to thank each pilot who took the time to read the document and carefully consider how this agreement would affect not only his or her own career, but the careers of fellow Piedmont pilots and co-workers.
I don’t recall another vote that received so much attention outside of the pilot group. Thank you for voting your conscience with the eyes of your colleagues upon you.
With this foundation, we are beginning the process of preparing Piedmont for re-fleeting with regional jets. We have already started working with a consultant to add RJs to our certificate. I will share more information on the process in the weeks and months to come.
For those of you concerned with Dash 8 flying, rest assured that our turboprops aren’t going away any time soon. The Dash is an important part of the American Airlines’ route structure, and we expect to continue to fly both the -100s and -300s for the foreseeable future. Two of our Dash 8s have been painted in American Eagle livery; 23 more are scheduled to be painted over the next several months.
Please join me in congratulating our pilots, ALPA, Matt Berson and the ALPA negotiating committee, Captain Bruce Freedman and the Master Executive Council on a challenging job well done.