Pilots at ABX Air approved a collective bargaining agreement this week the cargo airline says will help the company build a long-term contract with main customer DHL.
The airline, a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group, said the pilots’ contract includes “more market-competitive wages, benefits and work rules” than the old agreement.
The pact also is contingent on a new commercial agreement between ABX and DHL, which withdrew from U.S. domestic express service at the start of 2009, triggering deep layoffs at ABX’s air and ground operations.
The contract gives the carrier stronger stability as ABX and its parent look to create a broader portfolio in outsourced freighter flight operations, including services for carriers in the international arena along with sharply scaled-back services for DHL.
The pilot contract “is a vital element in our plan to forge a new long-term agreement with our principal customer, DHL, while making us more competitive in the global marketplace for superior quality, cost-effective air cargo transport on our fuel-efficient fleet of widebody Boeing 767s,” ABX Air President John Graber said in a statement.
ABX parent ATSG reported a $3.7 million net profit in the third quarter ending Sept. 30 on a 27 percent drop in revenue, to $174.2 million, largely because of the reduced DHL business.