Atlas Air calls Teamsters’ warnings of pilot shortage a ‘pressure’ campaign

A World Atlas Boeing 747 aircraft takes off from Kabul international Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 13, 2010.

Atlas Air has called warnings by the Teamsters Local 1224, which represents the carrier’s pilots, “part of an overall campaign from the pilots and their union to put public pressure on the company with respect to its next labor contract.”

Atlas pilots demonstrate outside of’s annual board meeting in Seattle

The union has warned that the carrier’s unwillingness to meet contract demands is increasing attrition, potentially impacting the airline’s ability to operate routes, including high-profile express services for the likes of Amazon’s Prime Air.

Pilots that fly for Atlas Air have warned that the carrier could miss its targets for the year due to pilot attrition. The union alleged that Atlas pilots are leaving for better-paying contracts offered by carriers like FedEx, where they can expect to make 30 percent more money, according to Robert Kirchner, an Atlas pilot and chairman of Teamsters Local 1224.

In a notice on its website,  Atlas Air has now countered that they offer, “competitive compensation when compared to our peers.”

The Purchase, N.Y.-headquartered carrier pointed to its roster, which, at the end of 2016, showed employment of more than 1,700 pilots, an increase of almost 600 since the end of 2014.

The parties have returned to the negotiating table this month, but the union noted that similar negotiations broke down last year and, in theory, either party could walk away from this agreement as well.

For the full notice, click here:

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