Allegiant Air pilots threaten to strike, could impact regional flights

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) - If pilots with Allegiant Air decide to go on strike, it could impact thousands of passengers and result in cancellations at major hubs including Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Fort Lauderdale.  

Pilots at the low-cost carrier are not happy with the airline's scheduling system. The pilots' union is taking a hard stance.

"Pilots at Allegiant Air, one of the country’s most profitable airlines, voted with 93.5 percent support to authorize a strike should it become necessary," a statement said.  "The vote comes in response to Allegiant’s years-long refusal to live up to its commitments and fix a sham scheduling system that has negatively impacted the lives of many pilots and their families.  Voting took place over a one-week period from June 29 to July 6 and was conducted online via a third-party election management provider."

If pilots strike, it could affect thousands of passengers a week in the region, including McGhee-Tyson and Asheville and Tri-Cities, and many others around the country. Allegiant Air flies to over 100 US airports. 

“We are people with spouses and children, not cells on a spreadsheet that Allegiant executives can move around with no rhyme or reason,” said Captain Andrew Robles, an Allegiant Air pilot and Executive Council Chairman at the pilots’ union, the Airline Pilots Association, Teamsters Local 1224. “Striking is a last resort, but we’ll do whatever it takes to hold Allegiant to its promises and to make our airline the best it can be for our pilots, our families and our passengers.”

Pilots raised concerns about the scheduling system since 2016, a statement says.  In 2016, the pilots and Allegiant reached an agreement requiring that they negotiate and implement a new system within 180 days.

News Channel 11 reached out to Allegiant about the situation. They issued the following statement: 

We remain committed to, and are actively working towards the completion of implementing the scheduling system, working with the vendor selected by IBT.  Under the Railway Labor Act, as well as the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, this issue would not constitute grounds for a legal work stoppage.


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