Flight Options Pilots Ratify Initial Contract

 - April 6, 2010, 12:04 PM

Just shy of four years since voting in a union–the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108–the pilots at fractional provider Flight Options overwhelmingly approved their first contract last week. After more than three years of sometimes bitter negotiations, IBT 1108 reached a tentative agreement with Flight Options management on January 28. Pilot-management relations improved when company founder Kenn Ricci returned as chairman in July 2008 and vowed to work with the pilot union. Ricci’s efforts apparently paid off, as 88 percent of the union’s members ratified the agreement. IBT 1108 said the new agreement provides pilots with an immediate salary increase, longevity increases, additional paid time off, job-security protections, an expanded basing system and a grievance and arbitration process. “This was a significant milestone for Flight Options. Since our inception, our flight crews have been the cornerstone of our operation,” Ricci said. IBT 1108 president Mat Slinghof said the contract “is the product of thousands of hours of work and a joint commitment to the success of our pilots and the company.”