Airborne reaches accord with flight crews

Airborne reaches accord with flight crews

ABX Air Inc., the air operations subsidiary of Airborne Inc., has reached a tentative agreement with the union representing its pilots and other flight crew members, Airborne announced Friday.

The pact is expected to smooth the way for the spin-off of the airline, part of the acquisition of Airborne's ground operations by Deutsche Post World Net, the German mail monopoly.

Terms of the new accord, which extends through July 31, 2006, are subject to ratification by the nearly 800 flight crewmembers represented by Local 1224 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, based in Wilmington, Ohio, where ABX has its hub.

Airborne said the contract includes a signing bonus payment, wage increases and improvements to scope and successorship language, while providing Airborne with operational flexibility.

A ratification vote is expected within the next week.

Airborne shareholders are scheduled to vote on Aug.14 on Deutsche Post's $1.05 billion offer for the Seattle-based carrier's ground operating network. The acquisition is expected to close later this month.

Deutsche Post plans to merge Airborne's ground operations with those of DHL Worldwide Express Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

ABX Air, which operates approximately 118 aircraft on U.S. domestic routes, will be spun off as a separate company to Airborne shareholders.

ABX is expected to get most of its revenue by carrying packages for DHL Worldwide Express.