Airline Safety should not be the subject of Litigation and Pointed Press Releases; management and the union have got to get their act together

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ARTICLE: Allegiant Air Maintenance Practices To Be Subject Of Investigation


The Teamsters were recently commended for the positive cooperation with Silver Airlines in trying to retain and attract pilots. . Trying to find solutions which work for management and labor is critical to the future of aviation.

The above linked article suggests that the same tone is not part of the relationship between the Teamsters and Allegiant. A quick Google search shows that this point of contention is the tip of the iceberg; there’s so much more:

· Allegiant Air Pilots to Meet with Investors, Analysts to Discuss Operating, Safety Concerns

· Teamsters File Suit Against Allegiant Air

· Teamsters Seek Court Order to Restore Status Quo at Allegiant Air

· Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition To Launch Investigation Into Allegiant Air Maintenance Practices

· Pilot Training Backlog Causes Allegiant Air Delays, Say Teamsters

That’s a lot of bad blood between the carrier and the union, almost reminiscent of the IAM’s battle with Eastern Airlines and Frank Lorenzo.


The Board of Allegiant is impressive with a wealth of airline experience (United, American Eagle, Air Canada and World). It offers a unique service to small communities at extraordinary fares. There are few other operators which attempt to fill this niche.

All of the Teamster complaints listed above primarily involve allegations of safety problems. That subject should not be a matter of employee/employer dispute in the aviation industry. The resolution thereof is not likely to be best addressed by a court. Judges do not typically have a great wealth of knowledge of aviation safety, the complexities of Maintenance, pilot duty/training and the like.

The issues raised are usually subject to hard data and the issues raised are better resolved with the same spirit of cooperation evidenced in the Teamsters-Silver relationship. Obviously management and/or the union have not established the ability to discuss such issues and that is most unfortunate.

Safety should not be a source of contention; both parties must be able to find solutions together or perhaps they need a third party to help resolve the differences of opinion. Ideally, and clearly the current Teamsters-Allegiant relationship is not in that category, SMS is a tool which would identify the issues raised by the union and find mutually acceptable solutions. That discipline may involve more comity than the above information would suggest.

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