The Independent Pilots Association (IPA) expressed its support for the pilots at two carriers currently flying the bulk of package volume for DHL within the US, Canada, and Mexico. Those carriers are ABX Air and Astar.

UPS and DHL Express US announced a tentative 10 year deal for UPS to provide transportation in its air network for all of DHL’s express, deferred and international package volume within the United States. Under terms of the agreement, not yet finalized, UPS would also provide air lift for DHL packages between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

If the agreement is finalized, it could mean a loss of pilot jobs at Astar and ABX Air and an increase at rival carrier UPS. “Our first reaction on hearing of the proposed deal was to ask UPS to give every consideration to any Astar or ABX Air pilot who might seek a job at UPS,” said UPS pilot union President Bob Miller. “We have worked with both pilot groups for many years, and their members are among the most skilled and professional in the industry,” he added.

Miller said that many UPS pilots have friends at the carriers and would like to see their company provide every consideration to any pilot from ABX Air or Astar who might seek a job with the carrier. “The pilots at ABX Air and Astar have a proven record of safely and efficiently providing service. Any problems at these companies have come from their management, not from the pilots,” said Miller.

“While we don’t have a sense yet of how many new pilot positions could potentially be created at UPS, we do know that there are no better qualified pilots in the industry than those who fly for ABX Air and Astar.”

The Independent Pilots Association represents over 3,000 airline pilots who fly domestically and internationally for United Parcel Service. The Union was certified in 1990 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.