Herndon, Virginia, USA

The Associations of Star Alliance Pilots (ASAP) today concluded their semiannual Executive Board meeting in the Washington, D.C., area. The Star Alliance is an airline marketing consortium currently consisting of 28 member carriers. ASAP consists of the leadership of the pilot unions and associations at those carriers, which collectively represent approximately 50,000 pilots. Twenty--]. six delegates were in attendance at the conference.

In addition to substantial discussion and presentations concerning labor relations and bargaining related to mergers, seniority list integration, and health and retirement benefit negotiations, other issues discussed by the delegates during working sessions were the overall economic state of the industry worldwide and industrial developments which likely will impact pilots.

Of particular note were presentations surrounding new company business models like those at Norwegian Air Shuttle and its subsidiaries, and the issue of contract pilots. The conference adopted the following statement regarding contract pilots:

"Employment model.permanent and temporary employment: All pilots engaged in commercial flight operations for an airline or its airline affiliate shall be employed under a collective labor agreement [CLA]/collective bargaining agreement [CBA] between the authorized representative of the pilots and the airline or airline affiliate holding the Air Operators Certificate [AOC] and having operational responsibility for the flight operations conducted by the pilot. An airline affiliate means any other entity which directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the airline."

Also at this meeting, the ASAP Industrial Subcommittee, consisting of those member associations which are legally permitted to and have an interest in industrial issues, discussed further the interests of the pilots at those carriers and what actions might be taken in response to the particular situations they confront.

The conference also included discussions on a range of flight--].safety issues and the regulatory framework governing accident investigations and safety programs such as Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA).

United Airlines Captain Ron Abel, ASAPfs Executive Board chairman, noted that "the value of our collective discussion.especially with regard to assessing changes sweeping the airline industry.canft be overstated. We must continue to apply our experience and resources to anticipate and deal with the challenges that we face as a profession."

The next regular Executive Board meeting of ASAP will take place in Panama City, Panama, on March 25.26, 2014.