The board of directors of Sun Country Airlines (SY, Minneapolis/St. Paul) has told its pilot union that the airline is heading for its 'ultimate shut-down' after neither party was able to reach a consensus regarding a revised Collective Labour Agreement (CLA). Though talks about a pay rise began in 2010, little headway has been made with the National Mediation Board called in to break the deadlock in 2012.

In a letter to Brian Roseen, chairman of ALPA's Sun Country Airlines Master Executive Council, Board Chairman and owner Marty Davis said the impasse had lead management to begin the process of downsizing the airline.

"...our management team has begun the process of downsizing the airline, for what will need to be its ultimate shut down," Davis said. "We do not feel any ill will towards the pilots, it is, and happened, as we said it should on many occasions; we made our final offer, you decided the pilots cannot accept it. The one caveat, we do feel we should have worked together to bring these realities to the pilots, allowing the pilot membership to vote, but that is your decision."

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has, however, dismissed Davis' threat as a bargaining tool claiming the union had not yet had the opportunity to present its own proposal to counter that made by management.

“Mr. Davis’ e-mail asserts that after five years of negotiations, the first comprehensive economic proposal presented by the company is also its ‘last, best and final’ proposal," Rossen said in a statement. "In essence, it's a take-it-or-leave-it offer. He claims that he has begun the process of downsizing the airline, although we have seen no evidence of this.”

The pilots claim they have not seen a pay rise for the past five years and that the offer tabled by management for the next five years would still leave them among the lowest paid in the US scheduled operators sector.

Further mediation is scheduled for May 27-29 during which time ALPA will present its counter-offer.

Sun Country operates an all-Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) fleet of twenty-one B737 NextGens including seven B737-700s and fourteen B737-800s on scheduled and charter flights to destinations in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.