Pilots Flying Amazon Planes Suggest Company Might Not Be Able To Deliver On Time

Union pilots who fly products for Amazon.com Inc. are taking concerns about pay, working conditions and staffing shortages directly to online shoppers with a digital marketing blitz that suggests the internet retailer may struggle to deliver holiday gifts on time.

Bloomberg Technology reports that the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224, is running advertisements on Facebook and Google this Friday targeting Amazon customers and suggesting Amazon may struggle to deliver holiday gifts on time.

If someone clicks on the ads, they are taken to to the website canamazondeliver.com

The website states;

"This holiday season, Amazon customers may want to think twice before ordering last-minute deliveries. What can you do to prevent this from happening? Give one star for Amazon Prime Air and tell Amazon executives to make sure its contracted pilots have a fair contract to ensure stability and that there are enough qualified pilots to get the job done."

The ad campaign could haunt Amazon even after a federal judge last month ordered striking pilots back to work on the second day of a walkout. Even a minor disruption this time of year can be costly.

Online spending in November and December will increase 11 percent this year to $91.6 billion, according to Adobe Systems Inc. Amazon has to increase capacity to grab as big a slice of this spending as possible.

The Facts according to the Airline Professionals Association


At issue are contract negotiations with about 1,650 teamster pilots and their employers - Air Transport Services Group Inc. and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. The companies both agreed this year to fly planes stuffed with Amazon inventory.

This is Amazon’s first holiday season since it unveiled Amazon Prime Air, a fleet of about 40 planes that reduce its dependence on FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. The labor issues involving its contract partners signal the initiative is off to a rocky start.

The contracted airlines "don’t have enough pilots to meet the demands of Amazon because their experienced pilots are leaving for better jobs at other airlines," according to a statement on the website. "At this rate, there may not be enough pilots to deliver for Amazon around the holidays."

Read: Holiday deliveries face challenges but situation is not dire

Pilot strikes in the U.S. are rare due to the Railway Labor Act, a 90-year-old federal law intended to prevent labor disputes from disrupting commerce. This latest attempt was short-lived, so the pilots involved are trying to pressure their employers by appealing directly to Amazon shoppers as they browse for holiday gifts.

A recent Amazon flight was grounded in Dallas for about 15 hours because the pilots were fatigued and there was no backup crew nearby, an indication of a pilot shortage, said Bob Kirchner, a captain with Atlas Air.

"People are being run ragged because of the pilot shortage," he said. "We want everyone to know and we want the public and Amazon to pressure these companies to sit down with us and do a fair negotiation."

Related: When Shipping Speed Matters, Think Air Cargo

Article Topics

International Air Transport Association News & Resources

For The First Time Amazon Prime Air Cargo Planes Are Ready For Takeoff
Amazon Plans Air Cargo Services for China Retailers
Pilots Flying Amazon Planes Suggest Company Might Not Be Able To Deliver On Time
Value of Air Cargo: Air Transport and Global Value Chains
Another Strong Year for Airline Profits in 2017

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IATA is an international trade body, created over 70 years ago by a group of airlines. Today, IATA represents some 265 airlines comprising 83% of total air traffic. The organization also represents, leads and serves the airline industry in general. IATA’s Director General and CEO is Tony Tyler. Specialties: Simplify air travel & shipping Intermediary between airlines and passenger & cargo agents Allow airlines to operate safely, securely and efficiently Represent aviation interests Training Consulting Auditing Intelligence & Statistics Financial Services

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