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PURCHASE, NY: April 17, 2017. Teamsters union flight dispatchers at Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo have voted to extend their contract with the two carriers until November 2021.

Alaska SkyWestE175The move follows a tentative agreement reached last week between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the 620 pilots flying for Horizon Air, part of the Alaska Air Group.

The amended Atlas/Polar agreement, ratified by 74 percent of the union voters, includes a 30 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, as well as generous moving expenses for members affected by the company's relocation of flight dispatch operations to Cincinnati, Ohio in support of Amazon's Prime Air service.

"The agreement ratified recognizes the relocation needs of the company and helps position it to continue its record of growth and its preeminent position as a world class airline," said Capt. David Bourne, Teamsters Airline Division director. Bourne commended the "professionalism and diligence" of both union representatives and airline managers during the negotiations.

Horizon Air said the agreement with its Teamster-represented pilots includes enhanced salary and bonus provisions that will enable the company to attract new talent: "I commend the negotiations team for their efforts to reach a deal that allows us to increase our pilot recruitment efforts and offer generous entry level wages for new first officers," declared Brad Lambert, Horizon Air vice president Flight Operations: "This deal will allow us to successfully compete for talent and grow our airline."

Last year Horizon placed an order for 30 Embraer E175 aircraft at a book price of US$2.8 billion for delivery by 2019. The jets, 13 of which are expected this year, will supplement the Portland-based carrier's fleet of Bombardier Q400s and allow the carrier to fly routes that are too long for turboprops but don't have enough passenger or freight demand to fill a mainline jet.

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