US-based budget airline Frontier Airlines has ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association, International (Alpa), which includes an average 53% across-the-board pay increase.
The new agreement, which becomes effective on 16 January 2019, and which Alpa estimates to be worth more than $1 billion (£779,315,000), also includes double-digit direct contributions into pilots’ retirement plans and a $75 million (£58,422,375) ratification bonus.
Barry Biffle, president and chief executive officer at Frontier Airlines, said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with our pilots and believe it gives them best-in-class salary and benefits, while also ensuring Frontier’s continued growth.”
More than three-quarters (77%) of Alpa’s members who work at Frontier Airlines voted in favour of the agreement; 99% of eligible members participated in the ballot.
Frontier Airlines and Alpa reached an agreement in principle in November 2018, following almost three years of negotiations. This included two years of talks guided by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Alpa sued Frontier Airlines’ management in July 2018 for bad-faith bargaining, but the suit was dropped when the agreement in principle was reached.
Frontier Airlines employs 1,300 pilots.
This is the sixth collective bargaining agreement between Frontier Airlines and Alpa.
Captain Tracy Smith, chairman, Frontier master executive council at Alpa, said: “With this agreement, Frontier pilot compensation now reflects the pilot market. From our high monthly guarantee to our industry-leading monthly credit override, our pilot compensation is consistent with the industry patterns for narrow-body pilots.
“Our new contract retains superior work rules and scheduling flexibility and improves our retirement, benefits and job security.”