Air Canada pilots seek to leverage ‘record’ airline revenues in contract talks

Avatar for Skies MagazineBy Skies Magazine | February 16, 2024

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 25 seconds.

Air Canada reported revenues of $21.8 billion in 2023, up 32 per cent from the previous year. Brian Losito Photo

Air Canada pilots have responded to the airline’s record-setting revenue with a renewed call for better compensation.

In a statement issued by their union, the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the pilots clapped back at the airline for what they say is substandard compensation.

“Today’s earnings report shows that Air Canada continues to grow, thanks in large part to the contributions Air Canada pilots made throughout this past holiday season, and beyond,” said F/O Charlene Hudy, Air Canada ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC) chair.

“Air Canada is one of the most profitable airlines in North America but has yet to recognize the value of its pilots and compensate them accordingly. As the Air Canada pilots continue to negotiate a new contract, we look forward to sharing in the company’s success.”

Air Canada reported revenues of $21.8 billion in 2023, up 32 per cent from the previous year. The pilots are attempting to leverage those results as they seek a new compensation deal.

Air Canada pilots at an informational picket at Toronto Pearson airport. Kevin Prentice Photo

Their existing contract expired Sept. 29, 2023, and is nearly a decade old, ALPA said in a release. The union alleges pilots at “comparable airlines” in the United States are paid 50 to 300 per cent more than pilots in Canada.

A majority of Air Canada pilots (70 per cent) say the outcome of their current contract negotiations will impact their decision to stay with the airline, or perhaps leave the profession entirely, ALPA said.

“In light of today’s announcement from Air Canada, we want to remind them that their future success, both financially and operationally, will require them to recognize the value in its pilots, and take steps to attract and retain experienced pilots in the flight deck,” added Hudy.

“The Air Canada pilots deserve a world-class contract that better reflects today’s world—one that addresses career progression, job security, quality-of-life concerns, and closes the growing wage gap between the United States and Canada.”

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  1. The pilots at Air Canada have bent over backwards through crises like SARS, 911, bankruptcy, and Covid, giving into demands made by AC to endure each downturn. Meanwhile, it’s board facilitated historic
    compensation for its top executives each time. It’s time to let the public know what value pilots bring to an airline also.

  2. It’s not just the pilots that have brought success to Air Canada. It is the unity of the entire Air Canada workers that make them successful. All of the employees need to be compensated, especially the employees that work in the large Canadian hubs. They live in cities and can no longer afford too.

  3. Pitting employee groups against each other has benefitted corporations for decades. Air Canada is no different.

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