A federal judge in Nevada has halted a pilots’ strike that could have grounded more than 250 Allegiant Air flights, including those between Kalispell’s Glacier Park International Airport and Las Vegas.
Pilots represented by the Teamsters Local Union No. 1224 announced Wednesday morning that they would go on strike April 2 after the discount airline made significant changes to the crew scheduling system and their benefits packages.
Airline officials claimed the strike would be illegal and filed a motion in federal court trying to prevent it. Late Wednesday afternoon, Judge Gloria Navarro issued an order preventing the strike. The union has until April 8 to file a response and a hearing has been set for April 10 for the two sides to meet.
The pilots said that the company is putting profits above safety and the wellbeing of its employees. In an open letter to passengers posted this week, the pilots’ union criticized the company for not properly maintaining its planes. It noted that while the airline is the most profitable in the industry, it also has the second-highest customer complaint rate of any U.S. commercial airline.
“While our CEO and largest shareholder has taken home tens of millions of dollars in dividends in the past few years, the company has refused to reinvest the return into our infrastructure, our operation or the workforce,” the pilots wrote. “The company’s profits are propped up by the extra workload placed on its understaffed, underpaid and overworked workforce and its minimalist approach to maintenance and safety.”
Allegiant flies round-trip from Kalispell to Las Vegas on Sundays and Thursdays.
On Wednesday afternoon, Allegiant Air was telling customers with upcoming flights to keep an eye on Allegiant.com for the latest information about their trip.
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