Alaska Airlines PDX flights cancelled as pilots take to the picket line
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Eleven Alaska Airlines flights out of Portland International Airport have been cancelled as of Friday morning.
At 7 a.m., the total number of cancelled flights was continuing to rise with flight tracking service FlightAware, showing 20 cancelled Alaska flights into and out of PDX. This number is potential to change, however.
In a statement Friday morning, Alaska Airlines said the cancellations are “connected to a shortage of pilots which has created operational challenges.”
Despite the statement, Alaska Airlines acknowledges their pilots across the country are heading to the picket line today, including in Portland, over contract negotiations.
Alaska Pilots, representing the workers, said a full contract hadn’t been negotiated since 2013.
“Flight crews were essential during the pandemic. They transported critical goods to rural areas and flew essential workers to many parts of the United States,” Alaska Pilots said in a statement posted to their official website. “As the company recovers from the pandemic, Alaska Airlines management fails to do the right thing by its pilots.”
The airline, however, said it remains committed to an agreed upon decision.
“A new pilot contract remains a top priority for Alaska,” said Jenny Wetzel, vice president of labor relations for Alaska Airlines. “We’ve put a package on the table that’s competitive and addresses the issues most important to our pilots.”
In an update at 9 a.m. Friday, representatives from Alaska Airlines said more than 120 flights for the day had been cancelled, effecting roughly 15,300 people.
Pilots will begin picketing at 10 a.m. in multiple cities. In Portland, pilots will be located at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel in NE Airport Way.
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