International Support for ANPAC

The European Cockpit Association (ECA), representing over 38,000 professional Pilots from 36 European countries, ANPAC - the Italian Pilots' Association and the SPA - the SkyTeam Pilots’ Association, express the importance of recognizing professional pilot unions, and in particular, ANPAC, to ensure the future success of Alitalia. Their leaders travelled to Rome in an unprecedented demonstration of support for ANPAC.

Yesterday in Rome, Italy, in a historic show of support for the Alitalia pilots, represented by ANPAC, the European Cockpit Association and the SkyTeam Pilots Association joined their Italian colleagues to express the importance of recognizing professional pilot unions, and in particular, ANPAC, to ensure the future success of Alitalia.

All nine Executive Board members of the SkyTeam Pilots Association (SPA) travelled to Rome in an unprecedented demonstration of support for ANPAC. The SPA consists of representatives of pilots from nine member airlines around the world who maintain international codeshare agreements with each other. The SPA represents over 30,000 professional pilots. Members include pilots from AeroMexico, Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, KLM, Korean Air, Continental, and Delta. Together, SPA member pilots, including the professional pilots of Alitalia represented by ANPAC, safely fly almost 428 million passengers per year (one of every four airline passengers in the world) to nearly 841 destinations in 162 countries.

Also in attendance was Captain Martin Chalk, the President of the European Cockpit Association, (ECA). The ECA represents pilots from 36 European nations and over 38,000 pilots.

The representatives from the various groups discussed the crucial need for professional pilot representation at all of their companies. The new owners of Alitalia must realize that a productive, positive relationship with a professional pilots union is the most effective way to succeed in today's marketplace. ANPAC, representing Alitalia's professional pilots, is the best way to ensure the success of the new Alitalia.

Captain Fabio Berti, President of ANPAC, acknowledged, "Alitalia has changed forever, and it is important for us to note that this requires a modification of the union relationship model. Alitalia pilots are fully aware of the need for this change. It is my strong belief that the future of Alitalia depends on management’s willingness to engage constructively with all of its employees, and particularly, with ANPAC and Unione Piloti. However, pilots must continue to represent pilots. This concept is internationally acknowledged."

Captain Mike Pinho, Chairman of the SkyTeam Pilots Association, added, "Alitalia has had a long and storied history as one of the world's great airlines. This history did not happen by mistake. It was the dedication of its workers, its partners, that made this happen. The ANPAC union at Alitalia contributed heavily to the safety culture that existed at Alitalia. The ANPAC at Alitalia contributed heavily to the past successes of this great company. The ANPAC at Alitalia stands ready to again lead the pilots of Alitalia to success in the years ahead through partnership with an enlightened management that is focused on delivering the highest commercial success to its shareholders."

President of the European Cockpit Association, Captain Martin Chalk concluded his prepared remarks by stating, "It has taken many decades of tragic experiences, and many thousands of man hours to develop the best practice in our industry. Alitalia is now embarking on an experiment - a different way – I call on the Italian people – do not allow an experiment with the safety and success of such a critical company as Alitalia."

The leaders of the pilot represented unions in attendance yesterday pledged their unwavering and continued support for ANPAC's goal of constructive engagement with the new Alitalia managers and reaffirmed their view that professional pilots must be represented by professional pilot unions. For Alitalia, ANPAC is that union.

Download ECA Press Release (PDF)