ALPA Delivers the Truth Behind the Alleged “Pilot Shortage”

Originally posted on Leadership From the Cockpit:

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ALPA’s got the pulse on the airline pilot pipeline, tracking down the numbers to rise above the noise and set the record straight on the so-called “pilot shortage.” Here’s the issue: There is no airline pilot shortage; it’s all about the money. “Pilot shortage” makes for a flashy headline, but we’ve done our homework and packaged all the facts in this new no-frills, real numbers whiteboard video that clearly identifies the issue beneath the surface: what the airline industry faces today is a pilot pay shortage.

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‘An Important Stand for Fair Competition’: DOT Dismisses NAI Exemption Request

Originally posted on Leadership From the Cockpit:

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Today the U.S. Department of Transportation sided with the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and dozens of other organizations—not to mention members of Congress on both sides of the aisle—in dismissing Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) request for temporary authorization to fly to and from the United States. This decision marks significant progress in the drive to help ensure a level playing field for U.S. airlines.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation took an important stand for fair competition today by denying Norwegian Air International’s request for temporary authorization to fly to and from the United States,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.

While an important decision, more work remains for ALPA and its broad coalition of partners in this fight. This decision covers only NAI’s request for an exemption to conduct business while its application for a foreign air carrier permit is processed; DOT still must reject that application and…

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NAI Can’t Fly Above the Law

Originally posted on Leadership From the Cockpit:

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The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, in collaboration with the Transportation Trades Department and the European Cockpit Association, jointly filed comments with the U.S. Department of Transportation today, again urging the DOT to deny Norwegian Air International’s request to fly to and from the United States on the basis that it violates the principles of  the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.

In the filing, ALPA points to comments made by a European Commission official, who acknowledges for the first time that a violation of Article 17 bis of the agreement can constitute a sufficient reason to reject a request for a foreign air carrier permit application or an exemption—both items NAI hopes to obtain from the U.S. DOT.

“ALPA could not agree more strongly with the European Commission director’s acknowledgment for the first time that violation of the labor provision can serve as a sufficient reason to deny foreign air carrier…

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Pilots to Congress: No More Politics with Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank has become a political football in recent months, with partisans on both sides leveraging the issue to score political points—at the expense of U.S. workers. Some Democrats are calling for a “clean” reauthorization of the Bank (a continuation of the Bank’s programs and an increase in its lending cap), while a segment of the Republican caucus wants to let the Bank’s authorization expire. ALPA is advocating for a middle ground—a pragmatic approach that is good for all U.S. workers. We have maintained that targeted, moderate reforms to the Bank to specifically address its widebody aircraft lending practices will give U.S. airlines a level playing field on which to compete with foreign airlines in the global marketplace and position U.S. aviation workers for success.

And there is a path. When ALPA’s president, Captain Lee Moak, testified in the U.S. House of Representatives last month, he joined a panel of witnesses invited by both sides of the aisle. While everyone came with prepared testimony on whether or how the Bank should be reauthorized, every witness agreed that targeted reforms are appropriate.

Authorizing the Bank with commonsense reforms is the right thing to do for thousands of small businesses that rely on the Bank to help them sell their products abroad. By its charter, the Bank is intended to be a lender of last resort for U.S. businesses. The same can’t be said, however, for loans for widebody aircraft, and a disproportionate amount of the Bank’s business finances multibillion-dollar widebody aircraft purchases for foreign airlines that simply don’t need it. Financially solvent Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, and others are taking advantage of below-market financing at a rate of millions of dollars over the life of an aircraft.

Not only does this undercut the U.S. airline industry’s ability to compete globally, it also shifts industry economics by allowing foreign carriers to make business decisions outside of the business capital markets and economic conditions dictated on U.S. and European airlines. Clearly, this is not the mission of the Bank. We must work together toward a commonsense solution that reauthorizes the Bank this year and helps create a level playing field for all U.S. workers.

Tell Congress that the Bank should be reauthorized this year with targeted, moderate reforms to stop the Bank from financing widebody aircraft to credit-worthy and state-owned or state-supported foreign airlines. ALPA pilots can take action in the Call to Action now!

Visit www.alpa.org/issues for more information.

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The House Takes Action to Restore Airfare Transparency

Btpn2ltCcAAR7GxToday, the U.S. House of Representatives took action to restore airfare transparency by passing the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 (H.R. 4156). The bill overturns the 2012 regulation, instituted by the Department of Transportation (DOT) that prohibits airfare advertisements from providing full disclosure of government imposed taxes and fees on the actual cost of an airline ticket. This misguided policy effectively hid the magnitude of government imposed taxes and fees from consumers, which typically constitute 21 percent of the total ticket cost, hurting our passengers’ wallets, U.S. airlines, and airline workers.

We commend Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) for his strong leadership and applaud the House for its diligent work to advance this important legislation.

H.R. 4156 restores airfare transparency by allowing consumers to see the full breakdown of their ticket costs. At a time when U.S. airlines are forced to compete with foreign carriers on an unlevel playing field, this common sense legislation will help secure a future for the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the U.S. airline industry supports.  We urge the Senate to follow suit so that consumers will have the benefit of knowing exactly where their hard-earned dollars are going.

Click here to read our press release

ALPA Applauds House Actions to Restore Airfare Transparency

Click here to learn more about H.R. 4156

H.R. 4156: Transparent Airfares Act of 2014

 

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The Case for a Middle Ground on Ex-Im

1087-ExIm-Bank-Hearing-Graphic-Poster-062514---top updateIn Washington, the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) has become a prime and significant policy discussion among members of Congress and all stakeholders involved. Each day that Congress debates whether or not we should reauthorize the bank, we potentially hurt our chances to protect U.S. jobs and U.S. businesses. The decision need not be black or white. There is solid and sensible middle ground where everyone can win.

For months, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l has been meeting with lawmakers as well as reporters covering Ex-Im. In all of our meetings and interviews, we have consistently made our position clear: Reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, but with reasonable, narrow, targeted reforms that eliminate the financing of widebody aircraft to creditworthy airlines and foreign airlines that are state-owned or state-supported. Why? Because the Bank in its current form provides an economic advantage to our foreign, state-funded competitors, on the U.S. taxpayers’ dime, ultimately harming U.S. aviation workers.

If Congress reauthorizes the Ex-Im Bank with our targeted reforms, it will ensure fair competition for all U.S. workers and level the playing field for U.S. airlines by safeguarding airline jobs and continuing the Bank’s work to promote U.S. goods and services in international markets.

The latest news:

For more on the Ex-Im Bank, please check out our Export-Import Bank Fact Sheet.

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The Public Eye on NAI

Time to Deny NAI
For months, many lawmakers, stakeholders, and leaders within the labor and aviation community have been keeping a close eye on whether the U.S. Department of Transportation will approve or reject Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) “flag of convenience” business model.  But in recent weeks, we’ve seen a new interested party that is now closely following the issue: the general public.

With more than 34,000 signatures from the general public, 150+ members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and transportation leaders all urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to DenyNAI, it’s clear that the U.S. jobs message is winning.

Please take a look at the latest stories from the past month exposing the truth behind NAI’s job-killing scheme.

If you have not done so already, here’s your chance to fight for U.S. jobs.
Sign the petition and urge U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx to DenyNAI!

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