Frontier Pilots: Airline Will Not Achieve Growth Plans Without a New Contract

Release #: FFT 17.09

DENVER, Colo.—Statement by Capt. Tracy Smith, chairman of the Frontier Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), in response to the recent announcement that the airline’s majority investor, Indigo Partners, intends to purchase 134 new Airbus aircraft for the airline.

“Indigo Partners’ announcement that it plans to order 134 new Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft for Frontier Airlines is an encouraging sign of Indigo’s faith in our airline, but this substantial investment in new airplanes will not pay off if the carrier lacks the pilots to fly them.

“In today’s pilot-hiring environment, it will be impossible for Frontier to achieve its ambitious growth plans while still offering the lowest pilot pay rate in the industry. Virtually every airline in the world is actively hiring new pilots, and both new hires and experienced pilots have many employers to choose from. The 40 percent pay gap between Frontier and its peers is a strong disincentive for new pilots to come here, and there are even regional airlines now offering higher first-year pay than Frontier.

“ALPA and Frontier will resume mediated negotiations November 27 in Washington, D.C. We urge Frontier management to accept the reality of the current pilot marketplace and offer a market-rate contract at the upcoming bargaining session. Frontier must come to terms and bring its pilots into the pattern of its peers so that we can all work together to advance Indigo’s ambitious growth goals.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 58,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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