Republic Airways says reaches tentative pact with pilots union

Reuters

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Republic Airways Holdings Inc said on Friday that it reached a tentative accord for a four-year labor contract with the Teamsters union, which represents more than 2,200 pilots at its Republic, Chautauqua and Shuttle America regional airline subsidiaries.

The agreement, which is subject to approval by union members, includes pay raises, improved work rules and a signing bonus, Republic said in a statement. A vote by the membership is expected in March, it said.

Officials of the Teamsters could not be reached immediately for comment.

Indianapolis-based Republic said this week that its pretax income would be reduced this year because it decided to cut its planned flying due to a scarcity of qualified pilots.

The company's chief executive officer, Bryan Bedford, told Reuters in an interview this week that the company had seen a drop in the number of qualified applicants since U.S. Federal Aviation Administration rules took effect last year that increased flight-time requirements for pilots of commercial jets and cargo planes.

In a letter to staff, Bedford had also addressed the possibility that not having a new collective bargaining agreement with pilots could be hurting the company's recruitment efforts.

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