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Allegiant Air pilots threaten to strike, could impact local flights

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) - If pilots with Allegiant Air decide to go on strike, it could impact thousands of passengers at McGhee-Tyson Airport in Alcoa.

Pilots at the low-cost carrier are not happy with the airline's scheduling system. The pilots' union is taking a hard stance.

"Pilots at Allegiant Air, one of the country’s most profitable airlines, voted with 93.5 percent support to authorize a strike should it become necessary,"
a statement said.
"The vote comes in response to Allegiant’s years-long refusal to live up to its commitments and fix a sham scheduling system that has negatively impacted the lives of many pilots and their families. Voting took place over a one-week period from June 29 to July 6 and was conducted online via a third-party election management provider."

If pilots strike, it could affect thousands of passengers a week at McGhee-Tyson Airport and many others around the country. Allegiant Air flies to over 100 US airports.

“We are people with spouses and children, not cells on a spreadsheet that Allegiant executives can move around with no rhyme or reason,”
said Captain Andrew Robles, an Allegiant Air pilot and Executive Council Chairman at the pilots’ union, the Airline Pilots Association, Teamsters Local 1224.
“Striking is a last resort, but we’ll do whatever it takes to hold Allegiant to its promises and to make our airline the best it can be for our pilots, our families and our passengers.”

Pilots raised concerns about the scheduling system since 2016, a statement says. In 2016, the pilots and Allegiant reached an agreement requiring that they negotiate and implement a new system within 180 days.