April 15, 2016 — On April 11th and 12th the CAPA Centre for Aviation hosted their annual Americas Aviation Summit in Las Vegas. The summit covered a broad variety of topics ranging from airline expansion in Asia to the emergence of Cuba as a new destination for U.S. travelers and concluded with a panel discussion on the impact of record profits on airline stakeholders, specifically airline employees.
In attendance were industry heavyweights such as Deputy Secretary for Transportation Affairs for the U.S. Department of State Tom Engle, American Airlines C.E.O. Doug Parker, and Air China Vice President Zhihang Chi. CNN anchor and aviation expert Richard Quest moderated several lively panel discussions at this industry-wide event.
Recognized exclusively as the leading voice for Flight Attendants nationwide, AFA-CWA was invited as a speaker on the panel discussion on record profits and the expectations of airline employees. AFA International President Sara Nelson spoke at length about the sacrifices employees made and the anticipation of sharing in success built on sacrifices by the people of aviation. When asked why Flight Attendants deserve to have “a piece of the action” Sara stated emphatically, “Because we ARE the action,” underscoring the critical role of Flight Attendants and airline employees in safe passage and achieving record industry profits. Sara also spoke about the need to recognize the important role the strike plays in motivating everyone at the bargaining table to reach agreement. She also reminded participants that they can talk about market rate for Flight Attendant, pilot or other aviation jobs all day long but that fails to recognize aviation as a business of moving people and caring for people, by people who suffered and made difficult choices during bankruptcies and the economic downturn even as executives pocketed extraordinary bonuses. In a one-on-one interview that CAPA shared with industry analysts she continued to reiterate the need to address Flight Attendant fatigue, an issue on which AFA has fought tirelessly.
As the Flight Attendant union invited to represent the profession, AFA kept the issues affecting us at the forefront of discussions with leading industry analysts. High profile events such as these demonstrate the industry-wide recognition given to AFA as the voice of the profession. We proudly represent Flight Attendants across the country and around the world.