The airline is one of the sectors that has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. A union that represents the pilots of the Alaska Air Group on July 21, 2020 made an announcement that they have come to an agreement with the airline that will help to avoid the pilot furloughs. In the upcoming fall, the Alaska along with other airlines are planning to make contracts due to the lack of travel demand.
Due to the pandemic and lack of travel demand, many airlines are forced to take decisions of furloughs, but for now the industry has been prohibited from doing voluntary layoffs through September 30, 2020 as it is a condition for receiving the assistance of the government. But by October 1, 2020 all the bets will be off and the travel demand is further expected to be in pressure as the COVID-19 cases could spike
Before the year comes to an end, the airlines are expected to shrink by about 30 percent. Air Line Pilots Association has an arm in Alaska and it released a statement on July 21, 2020 that mentioned that it has reached to an agreement with the airline on the number of leaves that would be incentivized. Even the early retirement programs have been designed to focus on the needs of the company’s need to downsize without the need of layoffs. The union said that the pilots participated effectively and this has helped to avoid the threat of furloughs by the airline.
Will McQuillen, the chairman of Alaska Master executive council of ALPA in a statement said that they have always maintained that there is always a solution to address the staffing problems of the company instead of the furlough of pilots. McQuillen added that the senior management had agreed with their point of view and have worked with them on implementing the programs. The airlines and pilots are now working together creatively to deal with the problems related to COVID-19.
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