Why Join the PPU?

You value your time and you value your profession, so we’ll be brief.

The PPU has been created in direct response to the clearly stated need, from professional pilots throughout the airline industry, for a union that puts the member at the very centre of its being. Full stop.

Moreover, the PPU policy is to participate in constructive engagement and negotiation with airline employers to achieve mutually acceptable negotiated settlements.

The PPU wants a strong and profitable airline industry, but not at the expense of its members’ pay, terms or conditions.

Our Mission Statement makes it totally clear. The PPU is prepared to take collective action to defend our members’ profession, pay and terms and conditions:-


The PPU Mission Statement 16 October 2012

  1. To fully represent and robustly support members of the PPU and to actively promote and augment professional pilots’ terms & conditions, pay, working environment and professional status.

  2. To be prepared to engage collectively to uphold the interests of its members.

  3. To work with Industry and Government to enhance:-

    1. Flight safety

    2. Environmentally sound industry practice

  4. To be the effective and recognised representative body for pilots of carriers throughout the industry.


Our strategy is very simple.

  1. We seek to gain the overwhelming majority of pilots as members in every airline in which we have members.

  2. By “overwhelming” we mean in excess of 75% of pilots and ideally well above that level.

  3. We then invite the airline concerned to give any other (by then, minority) union notice under any voluntary recognition agreement or, in the case of a statutory recognition agreement, will seek to have pilots vote for termination of a statutory recognition agreement, during the membership-build phase.

  4. In both cases, we will be encouraging the employer to effect an orderly transition during the change of recognised union, during any notice period between it and the, by then, minority union, preserving any and all agreements between the employer and its pilots, unless specifically re-negotiated by the PPU

  5. Alternatively, we may seek a negotiated agreement to be an additional recognised union.

  6. In the event that an employer chooses not to respect the wishes of the overwhelming majority of its pilots (as members of the PPU) we will then put that specific airline on notice that PPU members enjoy exactly the same industrial and legal protections as any member of a recognised union. Further, we will advise the airline that the PPU will conduct itself exactly as stated in our Mission Statement; that the PPU will fully represent and robustly support its members and will actively promote and augment their terms & conditions, pay, working environment and professional status. Further, that employer will be formally advised that the PPU will be prepared to engage collectively to uphold the interests of its members.

  7. Throughout, the PPU will also be pro-actively engaging with Industry and Government to enhance flight safety and environmentally sound industry practice.

We’re, initially, launching the PPU only for pilots employed by Virgin Atlantic Airways. However, it’s absolutely our intention to open up the PPU to pilots employed by all UK carriers as soon as practically possible.



We have negotiated a bespoke Group Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance policy, via the PPU, for our members.

Key benefits are:-

  • £125,000 or £250,000 per claim world-wide (including the USA) cover. The level of cover is at the member’s own discretion.
  • £2,500 guaranteed “emergency cover” to allow members to immediately gain access to legal help during the initial stages of a legal incident.
  • With the PPU policy, notification to insurers does not have to be in writing, in the first instance (unlike other policies). The PPU 24/7/365 Crisis Line staff will advise the insurer of your case following your contact with the Crisis Line staff.
  • 24/7/365 Crisis Line staff will, following your call from down-route:-
    • Call the FCO Global Response Centre
    • Call the Insurer on your behalf
    • Email the PPU Crisis Response Team
    • Call the PPU Crisis Response Team members (from the Campaigns, Members’ Welfare & Benefits Task Group) who will then take “ownership” of your case
  • The PPU Group policy also covers members for:-
    • Representation at statutory, private and/or public enquiries
    • Employment Disputes
    • Personal Injury claims against third parties
  • Full details are contained in the Group Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance policy found on the sign-up page via the Join Us or Join Today buttons.

    Please note:
    • Currently, due to restrictions imposed by insurers, this policy only covers members who are domiciled in the EEA (including the UK).
    • Insurers advise that they do not consider the CIs, IOM or Gibraltar to be in either the EEA or UK.
    • Please contact the PPU directly if these territorial restrictions affect you.


Please watch our welcome video, read our mission statement, and, if you’re currently a pilot with Virgin Atlantic Airway, then join us!

Just click on the “Join Us” button on the top navigation bar of this page.


If you’re not a pilot with Virgin Atlantic Airways, please see the first of our FAQs