Atlantic Coast Pilots Ready to Fight Takeover

8th Dec 2003

The leaders of the Atlantic Coast Airlines

pilot group have
informed the Mesa Airlines

Board of Directors that its 1,600 ACA
pilots oppose any takeover of their airline.
In a letter to the Mesa board, Captain Stephen Hunt, chairman of the ACA
unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, said his members
strongly support ACA`s plan to create a new low-cost carrier called
Independence Air ( rather than be swallowed up by
Mesa and remain a feeder carrier for United Airlines.

“Let me be crystal clear: the pilots of Atlantic Coast Airlines have
absolutely no interest in being acquired by Mesa or deviating in any other
way from our management`s independent vision,” Capt. Hunt said. “This
hostile takeover is not in the best interest of ACA stakeholders and
employees, and we will fight to the bitter end to avoid becoming yet
another airline tossed in the Mesa graveyard.”

Capt. Hunt`s statement came less than a month after ACA pilots
overwhelmingly voted to accept pay and work-rule changes aimed at making
the new low-cost carrier more competitive. He noted that ACA pilots retain
the sole right to terminate the concessionary agreement if Mesa takes
over, making Mesa`s proposed code-share agreement with United much more
“We genuinely question how the Mesa board could view this hostile
transaction as being in the interests of Mesa stakeholders, and especially
Mesa`s pilots,” he said. The full text of Captain Hunt`s letter is
available on the ALPA website at


Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Atlantic Coast Airlines is one of the
leading operators of regional jets in the U.S., with more than 1,600
pilots and a current fleet of 142 aircraft, including 112 regional jets.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world`s oldest and largest pilots union,
representing 66,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit
the ALPA web site at




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