Panama City, Panama

The Associations of Star Alliance Pilots (ASAP) today concluded their semiannual Executive Board meeting in Panama City, Panama. 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. Thirty-two delegates were in attendance at the meeting.

There were extensive updates from each of the ASAP associations regarding labor relations at their respective airlines and the status of labor laws in their home country. These updates generated considerable debate and questions from the delegates. The delegates also discussed the status of current negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement at their respective airlines.

The Norwegian Air International (NAI) business model and its negative impact on airline labor was reviewed. NAI has its operating certificate in Ireland, and contracts European flight crew through an Asian outsourcing company. This business model is of grave concern for all commercial airline pilots.

The Board took action to insure closer coordination with IFALPA and further insure that ASAP has a voice at IFALPA conference and all other meetings.

Also the Executive Board was briefed by Captain Gavin McKellar about the Star Alliance Safety Meeting held in Dubai in July, 2013. To insure uniform safety standards in the Alliance, all new members of Star Alliance must have satisfactorily completed an IATA Operational Safety Audit as a condition of Star Alliance membership.

The Asiana Pilots Union informed the Executive Board that their attempts to achieve a Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) agreement with Asiana Airlines were rejected. The Board took action to communicate with Asiana Airlines management to urge that they enter into a joint agreement with their pilots to govern their FOQA data collection program.

The Board elected Captain Ron Pellatt, Air Canada, to serve as Executive Board Chairman.

Photo Credit: "Copa Airlines fleet parked at Tocumen International Airport, Panama City, Panama" Flikr user Jewbask, CC 2.0