They were joined on the picket line by pilots from United, FedEx, Spirit, Envoy, and Air Transport International. While the pilots picketed outside Terminal B, out of which many Mesa flights operate, a mobile billboard circled the airport and American Airlines headquarters with the message, “On Time Arrivals, Delayed Contract.”
“We’ve been waiting too long for a new contract that brings us in line with our peers at other airlines,” said Capt. Andy Hughes, chairman of the Mesa branch of ALPA.
“While these talks drag out, our pilots fall further and further behind in pay rates and benefits. Mesa pilots have earned a contract that fully recognizes our contributions to the success of the airline.”
For more than six years, the pilots have been in negotiations with airline management to achieve a contract that is in line with those at similar carriers, including industry-standard compensation. Meanwhile, during the same period, Mesa has been offering bonuses to new hires, added more than 70 new aircraft to the fleet, and announced plans in the last month to add an additional 12 aircraft. Mesa flies routes for American Airlines and United out of four bases, including Dallas.
“Our company has been filling its new-hire classes by promising quick upgrades and bonuses, while current Mesa pilots are still making well below the industry average. First officers at Mesa make less than half of some of their peers at other airlines flying similar routes on similar aircraft,” said Capt. Hughes.
“Mesa pilots have waited long enough for a contract. It’s time for the company to come to the table with a fair contract.”