Mesa Airlines Pilots Enter Mediation To Settle Contract Negotiations

By Carrie Jung
Published: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 5:05am
Updated: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 1:29pm

Pilots with Mesa Airlines have requested mediation services from the National Mediation Board to help settle a six-year-long contract negotiation. The pilots are asking that their pay and benefits be more in line with industry averages.

Valley-based Mesa Airlines is a feeder service that works with American Airlines in Phoenix and Dallas Fort Worth, and United Airlines in other locations.

Andy Hughes is a pilot with the Mesa Airline Pilots Association. He said he’s optimistic the mediation will help them finally settle on a contract.

"We remain divided on some economic and other pressing issues," Hughes said. "We hope that while the company continues to grow and add 70 new aircraft, it’s time for our pilots to have their outstanding bargaining issues done."

But Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and CEO of Mesa Airlines, said he’s hopeful mediation won’t be needed in the end because a comprehensive new proposal was issued to the pilots late Friday.

"I sense that once they get a better understanding of it, because it is complicated, it’s not simple, I think they will be pleasantly surprised and we’ll be able to make a lot of progress very quickly," he said.

According to Ornstein, the new proposal includes significant increases to compensation.