LAS VEGAS – Veteran pilots at Allegiant Air, the country’s most profitable airline, announced this morning that they will not be flying regularly scheduled routes on Thursday, April 2 from the airline’s major hubs across the country, including Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and Las Vegas. The strike comes as Allegiant refuses to reestablish a prior scheduling system and restore other basic benefits that have been illegally rolled back over a two-year period during which the company has posted record-level profits. In January, 98 percent of the company’s pilots, including those on reserve duty, voted to authorize a strike.
“Striking is a last resort, but we cannot continue to stand by a company that flaunts the law by robbing the pilots of legally protected rights and benefits. The company has to restore the status quo that it illegally took from us,” said Tom Pozdro, a pilot based in Las Vegas. “We deeply regret the inconvenience to our passengers and other work groups and encourage them to call Allegiant, asking them to do what is right by honoring its commitment to its pilots and the public by restoring our basic, legally regarded standards, protections and benefits.”
The strike has the potential to ground more than 250 flights from taking off Thursday, impacting over 33,000 customers, including thousands headed to Las Vegas for March Madness Final Four events, Spring Break travelers and others. On Monday, pilots posted an open letter to Allegiant customers alerting them to concerns at the airline, including operational problems that lead to the delays and cancellations that have made Allegiant one of the least popular airlines in the travel industry.
Allegiant Air is the most profitable commercial airline in the U.S. with 48 consecutive profitable quarters. Its executives are among the highest compensated in the industry, with the company CEO – and largest shareholder – taking home tens of millions in shareholder returns in recent years.
“Allegiant is making millions in profits, yet executives refuse to invest in the company’s infrastructure, operations and workforce. The haphazard scheduling system is creating exhaustion and stress for pilots,” said Tom Cox, a pilot based out of Phoenix who has been with Allegiant for over five years. “Pilots at Allegiant want to put our company on the right track for long-term success, and that means reinvesting in its workforce and planes. They can start with complying with the law by reinstating the legally protected work rules and benefits they took from us.”