DENVER, CO – The Frontier Airline Pilots Association (FAPA) announced today that the pilots of Frontier Airlines have voted overwhelmingly to merge their independent union with the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).
Of the 93 percent of eligible pilots who voted, 93 percent voted in favor of joining the world’s largest pilot union, showing their commitment to collective representation.
“We are proud to be the latest pilot group to join ALPA,” said Capt. Brian Ketchum, FAPA president. “With this bold decision we will now be able to bring ALPA’s unparalleled professional resources and expertise to bear so that we can fully share in our company’s renewed success. This collective determination by our pilots makes our union stronger, makes ALPA stronger, and together we will continue to advance our profession.”
FAPA first approached ALPA to explore a potential union merger in 2015 and the ratification vote was the culmination of more than a year of organizing. ALPA staff has supported FAPA’s bargaining efforts via a services agreement prior to opening contract negotiations on March 2, but the merger will give Frontier pilots access to the full range of ALPA services and support.
“Frontier Airlines pilots have historically sacrificed to ensure the viability of our airline and our role has been crucial to our company’s success,” said Captain Andrew Dumont, chairman of the FAPA Negotiating Committee. “We have already seen the benefits of having ALPA professionals on our team and by joining forces with the 52,000+ pilots at ALPA, we look forward to negotiating a career contract that appropriately recognizes our value.”
The federal government recognized FAPA as the Frontier pilots’ bargaining agent in 1999. Since then FAPA has helped its members weather a variety of storms including a 2008 bankruptcy, the sale of the airline to Republic Airlines in 2010, and another sale of the airline to an independent investor group in 2014.
“FAPA has served our pilot group well and was instrumental in navigating an enormously challenging period set in motion by Frontier’s 2008 bankruptcy,” Ketchum said. “We now turn a new page in our pilot group’s history and as the 31st ALPA pilot group, we look forward to continuing our representation of Frontier pilots by advancing and sharing in the success of our profitable airline as members of ALPA.”
ALPA’s Executive Board is expected to finalize the FAPA-ALPA merger next month, with the merger taking effect June 1. Leaders for both ALPA and FAPA endorsed the proposed merger agreement earlier this year, setting up the ratification vote by the pilots.