Atlas signs pilot agreement with Ameriflight while unions continue to warn of staff shortages

Atlas Air and Southern Air have entered into a pilot pathway agreement with Ameriflight that guarantees qualified pilots from the cargo airline an interview with the lessors.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, parent of Atlas and Southern, said that the agreement would give Ameriflight pilots an opportunity for career progression.
“We are pleased to form this special relationship with Ameriflight,” said Atlas Air president and chief operating officer John Dietrich.
“Our business is growing, and our airlines are a great place to build a career. Innovative partnerships like this one help us ensure a solid pipeline of qualified candidates dedicated to a career in aviation, which is at the center of today’s modern global economy.”
Ameriflight chief executive Paul Chase added: "Our partnership with Atlas Air and Southern Air provides an exceptional career advancement opportunity for our pilots.
“We have made a commitment to our team and the industry that Ameriflight will be the nation’s top place for pilots to become professional, major-airline ready, aviators. This is why we choose to align ourselves with the world’s best companies, like Atlas Air Worldwide. ”
The agreement comes as pilot unions continue to complain of a staff shortage at Atlas and Southern.
Shortly after Atlas released its third-quarter results, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters released a fact sheet claiming: "At the beginning of 2018, Atlas Air announced that it needed to add 200 pilots to its existing pilot pool to account for expanding business.
"But the carrier’s workplace conditions have made this goal unattainable. This year Atlas Air hired 288 new pilots but has lost approximately 145–just covering the amount lost, but not growing the overall size of available crews."
It added: "The escalating attrition and retention problems continue to stress the airlines’ operations. With an increase in delays, scheduling issues and incidents, pilots believe long-term success for the carriers – including in their partnerships with Amazon and DHL – could be at risk."
The union blames "years-long delays" in contract negotiations and a looming pilot shortage for the issues.
The Pilot Pathway Programme between Ameriflight, Atlas Air and Southern Air is open to qualified Ameriflight pilots.
Participants will gain requisite experience fulfilling a number of benchmarks while at Ameriflight, including Atlas’ ATP/CTP programme, professional/career development programs and more.
Successful completion of the programme will afford for these Ameriflight pilots a guaranteed interview with Atlas Air and Southern Air subject to hiring needs and meeting all program and hiring requirements.
Ameriflight largely provides air feeder services for major package express integrators utilising smaller aircraft such as Beechcrafts and Embraers, while Atlas is the world’s largest operator of B747Fs and flies a 20 aircraft operation for Amazon.
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