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Air Borealis pilots ratify 1st collective agreement after 3 years of negotiations

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A "brief incident of smoke" occurred during takeoff on a May 8th Air Borealis flight. The pilots made an emergency landing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
A "brief incident of smoke" occurred during takeoff on a May 8th Air Borealis flight. The pilots made an emergency landing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Air Borealis pilots have voted to ratify a new collective agreement, a first for the airline. (Jen White/CBC)

After three years of negotiations, Air Borealis pilots have ratified their first collective agreement.

The deal, ratified Wednesday with 87 per cent approval of pilots eligible to vote, includes improved working conditions, compensation, benefits and scheduling measures, said Tim Perry, Canadian president of the Air Line Pilots Association.

"It's a good collective agreement. It takes a positive step forward," Perry said. "It's also offering continuity and stability for the region."

Air Borealis, based in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was founded in 2017 through an agreement by PAL Airlines, the Innu Development Limited Partnership — an economic arm of the Innu of Labrador — and the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies. The airline joined ALPA in 2020, and negotiations began shortly after.

Perry said negotiations took longer than expected, partly due to the complexities involved in Air Borealis's ownership structure.

He commended all parties on reaching an agreement that he said will benefit everyone involved.

"It was very, very important that we got this concluded," he said. "And that's for the pilots who operate these important flights, but also, you know, for the community. This is going to help Air Borealis attract and retain pilots, which will prevent all their pilots having to be scheduled on a rotational basis."

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