ALPA Responds to CTA Decision to Approve Wet Lease Applications

OTTAWA, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA) issued the following statement in response to the Canadian Transportation Agency's (CTA's) recent decision to approve Sunwing Airlines Inc.'s applications for wet lease of foreign aircraft and pilots through spring 2014.

"ALPA has long advocated for the establishment of a formal Canadian wet lease policy to help level the playing field for all Canadian air carriers and to ensure that Canadian pilots benefit from Canadian aviation job opportunities. So, when Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced the government's first-ever policy imposing limits on wet leasing in the aviation industry in August, ALPA welcomed the new policy as an important step toward reaching that goal.

"The policy caps a Canadian air carrier's use of aircraft wet-leased from a foreign company at a maximum of 20 percent of the number of Canadian-registered aircraft on its air operator certificate (AOC) at the time the wet lease application is made. Yet, the Canadian Transportation Agency chose not to follow the new policy when it approved Sunwing's applications to wet lease a total of five aircraft—a request that far exceeds the 20 percent cap, given that there were 12 aircraft on the company's AOC at the time the applications were filed.

"ALPA is dismayed that the agency did not heed the clear wording of the new policy in approving the first application governed by it. Despite the CTA's acknowledgment that Sunwing's request exceeded the 20 percent cap, the agency based its approval on a commitment by Sunwing to have a total of 27 aircraft listed on its AOC during the period the wet lease aircraft would be operated. It is shameful that the agency made a determination based on a future promise when the policy clearly states that decisions should be based on the present situation.

"ALPA calls on the CTA to apply the policy as intended by its clear wording when considering future requests. ALPA will continue to monitor the decisions of the CTA to ensure they comply with the policy, and will continue to promote government policies and practices that benefit Canadian pilots and provide them with job opportunities."

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the 2,800 Canadian flightcrew members who fly for Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, CanJet, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.

SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association, Intl

For further information:

Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada Board President, 613/293-0882, Dan.Adamus@alpa.org

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Air Line Pilots Association, Intl

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