Air, Freight News

Atlas Air prospects are just an illusion, says pilot’s union

[ February 20, 2019   //   ]

A union that represents represents pilots at Atlas Air and Southern Air operating DHL and Amazon flights is warning that the operators are losing pilots to competitors because of poor pay and conditions. In an open letter, the Teamsters union told investors not to believe the pronouncements of the parent company in its latest financial results, despite strong growth reported by parent company Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW).
It claims that a recent survey of more than 1,200 pilots showed that over 60% were preparing to leave and seek work at competitors like UPS and FedEx, that there was a lack of pilots to meet the long-term needs of the Amazon Air programme and that the Amazon Air operation had been beset by cancellations and flight delays.
Teamsters said that AAWW pay rates were 40-60% below UPS and FedEx rates and that pilots had often been asked to fly on their days off.
Teamsters said: “Both AAWW and ATSG are continuing partnerships with DHL and Amazon, with potential to expand the work. But don’t be fooled. As pilots at the carriers know all too well, such partnerships are not sustainable if the current attrition, retirement and working conditions persist at AAWW and ATSG.”
AAWW however announced record fourth-quarter and full-year volumes, revenue and earnings in 2018, and said that growth would continue in 2019.
President and CEO William Flynn, said: “Our focus is on express and e-commerce, and fast-growing markets in Asia and elsewhere. As airfreight tonnage continues to grow, further globalization will require time-definite air networks to facilitate the flow of goods.”
He added: “We expect to benefit from a full-year of flying by the aircraft we added in 2018 for customers such as Asiana, DHL Express, Inditex and SF Express. We will see our first year of flying twenty 767-300s for Amazon.”
He predicted that adjusted net income in 2019 would “grow by a mid- to upper-single-digit percentage this year.”