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Kalitta Air pilots ratify four-year contract

Kalitta Air is a large cargo airline. It has a new union contract with its pilots.

A Kalitta Air 747 freighter. (Photo: Flickr/Albert Koch CC BY-ND 2.0

Kalitta Air pilots on Tuesday ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, which the Air Line Pilots Association says significantly improves retirement benefits and working conditions.

The four-year labor contract covers more than 800 pilots with the Ypsilanti, Michigan-based airline. The previous contract became amendable on Dec. 20.

“After one year of negotiations amidst the pandemic and related changes to the nature of bargaining, Kalitta Air pilots now have a contract that maintains their high-level position in rates and benefits and recognizes our contributions to this company,” said Capt. Jeremy Keyes, chairman of the Kalitta Air Master Executive Council (MEC). “This agreement is the result of not only hard work, but also a readiness to cooperate during these tough times and the unmatched unity of the Kalitta Air pilot group.”

ALPA characterized the negotiations, which were  conducted virtually for several months to prevent coronavirus infections, as amicable. 

During the pandemic, Kalitta Air has operated numerous relief flights, evacuating stranded Americans from China and other impacted regions, and transported medical supplies and vaccines. The company participated in the U.S. government’s Project Airbridge to shuttle personal protective equipment from Asia to the U.S. at the outset of the outbreak. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch. 

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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]