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October 3, 2019                                                                                                                                                                  19-29

Arbitrator Upholds ALPA’s Aeromexico JV Scope Grievance

The arbitrator who heard the first three Aeroméxico JV Scope grievancesMEC Grievance Nos. 18-07, 18-09, and 18-17has issued a liability award on all three Scope violations alleged by ALPA. The arbitrator confirmed that the Company violated Section 1 of the PWA in all three instances, including two violations of Section 1 E. 2. a. and one violation of Section 1 E. 2. c. This ruling yet again reaffirms the Company’s obligation to abide by the terms of the Delta pilots’ PWA and its Scope clause.

Key Takeaways

  • The arbitrator considered the first set of ALPA’s Scope grievances related to the Aeroméxico JV, and confirmed all three.
  • The arbitrator confirmed that the Company committed a total of two violations of Section 1 E. 2. a. and one violation of Section 1 E. 2. c.
  • Now that these violations have been established, the case will proceed to a second phase to determine the remedies for the violations.

How did Delta violate the PWA?

Section 1 E. 2. a. limits the number of passengers that Delta can book on a foreign air carrier performing international partner flying. Specifically, in any given month, Delta passengers cannot fill more than 40% of the passenger seats on any pair of flight segments flown by the foreign carrier.

In March 2018, Delta filled more than 40% of the passenger seats on DTW-MTY-DTW flights flown by Aeroméxico. In June 2018, Delta filled more than 40% of the passenger seats on DTW-BJX-DTW flights flown by Aeroméxico. The arbitrator held that the company violated Section 1 E 2. a. in both instances.

Section 1 E. 2. c. limits the number of passengers that Delta can book on a foreign air carrier performing international partner flying to or from Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada or Central America. Specifically, in any given month, Delta cannot place more than an average of 75 passengers per flight on any qualifying Aeroméxico flight segment.

In December 2017, the average number of Delta passengers on LAX-GDL flights operated by Aeroméxico that month exceeded the 75-passenger limit. The arbitrator held that the Company violated Section 1 E. 2. c. in that instance.

What happens next?

As in the Korean Air JV Scope liability award announced last month, the award in this case only decided the question of whether the Company in fact committed the various Scope violations ALPA had alleged in the grievances. Now that these three Aeromexico JV-related violations have been proven, the arbitrator “remanded” the question of what the remedy should be. That means he directed the parties to discuss and try to reach agreement on consequences for the Company’s violations. If those discussions are not successful, the proceeding will move into a second phase where the remedy will be decided by the arbitrator.

As with the Korean Air JV case, ALPA will vigorously advocate for a just result that meaningfully enforces the terms of our PWA, makes our pilots whole, and protects the integrity of our Scope clause moving forward. Additionally, we will pursue negotiated solutions for equitable growth between Delta and our JV partners.

This is a product of the Delta MEC Communications Committee