Horizon Air’s more than 700 pilots have voted to ratify a new agreement aimed at supporting the company’s pilots and retaining talent as mainline airlines continue hiring pilots away from regional airlines at record levels.
The agreement includes important pay increases and enhancements to retirement benefits. Additional improvements involve commuter policies and instructor benefits. More than 91% of Horizon pilots voted, and the agreement passed by 99%.
A tentative agreement was reached with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT),on September 2 and is effective immediately upon the September 16 ratification.
“Horizon Air is proud to serve communities throughout the West – places that we call home. The ongoing industry pilot shortage has put a strain on this service, and it’s more critical than ever that we attract and retain our talented pilots,” said Joe Sprague, president of Horizon Air. “We are focused on making Horizon the regional carrier of choice for pilots, and this agreement positions us well. I’m grateful to our pilots and to our colleagues at the IBT for their collaboration and hard work in getting to this point. Together, we are positioning Horizon for a strong future.”
“In light of recent wage increases across all segments of our industry, significant improvements were necessary for Horizon Air to remain competitive in attracting and retaining pilots,” said Horizon pilot and IBT 1224 executive council chairman Henry Simkins. “We identified what was important to our pilot group and worked to implement an approach that will help Horizon Air retain an experienced workforce and attract new talent. We appreciate management’s investment in our skilled professionals that continue to safely deliver our wonderful passengers every day.”
The pilot shortage and the transition to a single fleet of Embraer 175 aircraft has resulted in a temporary reduction of Horizon’s scheduled flying. The new agreement with Horizon pilots complements other company efforts that are expanding and diversifying the pilot pipeline through investments in the Ascend Pilot Academy and the Pilot Development Program. This is a priority, as Alaska and Horizon estimate the need to hire 500 pilots each year through 2025.