DENVER, Colo. (News4Utah) – As a busy travel season begins, Frontier Airlines pilots are warning customers about the threat of a strike at the airline.
Pilots said they are “100 percent ready to strike” this summer. Speaking through the Air Line Pilots Association, the pilots said a strike is a very, real possibility until management agrees to pay them in line with industry peers.
The last major U.S .pilot strike was in June 2010, when Spirit Airlines pilots went on strike for five days, stranding thousands of passengers.
At the time, Spirit was owned by the same equity firm that now owns Frontier.
Frontier pilots say they are the lowest-paid major airline pilots in North America, earning an average of 40 percent less than their peers. They are the last pilots in the United States still working under a bankruptcy-era contract.
“We sacrificed millions of dollars in pay and other concessions to keep the airline flying back in 2011. Now that Frontier is one of the most profitable airlines in the country, they’re turning their back on us,” said Tracy Smith, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association Frontier unit. “Frontier may be a discount airline, but we refuse to work for discount pay rates and benefits.”