Air Malta lying about pilots - ALPA
The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) has accused the national airline of spreading myths and lies on its pilots after it previously held that a total of 46 pilots called in sick on Tuesday, a far cry from the 25 pilots it initially reported.
In a statement, the Pilots Association explained that Air Malta previously held that 40 per cent of its available 117 pilots called in sick, thus amounting to 46 pilots. However, ALPA quickly rebutted the claims insisting that the figures are a far cry from the actual numbers and the numbers also included sick cabin crew members who along with the pilots, were certified as unfit to fly by the company doctor.
On Tuesday, Air Malta confirmed that a total of 17 pilots reported sick costing the airline more than €500,000 in compensation, hotel accommodation and alternative travel arrangements. ALPA has however claimed that 16 crew members were on sick, four of whom were on extended sick leave.
Furthermore, the Association rebutted allegations that two of its pilots were not home as it explained that the company doctor was ‘mistakenly’ sent to the wrong address.
“Air Malta is not going to mask its inefficiency and mismanagement by blaming the pilots for their illness. Sending the company doctor to a wrong address further proves that the airline has no idea how many pilots is has and where they live.”
Meanwhile, in reaction to Air Malta’s claims, ALPA explained that the airline never asked its pilots to help crew flights and ease delays.
The Association also criticized Air Malta CEO Peter Davies branding his information to the media as purposely misleading.
Hinting at a possible unofficial industrial action, Air Malta CEO Peter Davies previously claimed that the extraordinary high level of sickness among the airlines’ pilots was either due to a sudden epidemic or due to other forces at work.
However ALPA rebutted the claims, insisting that the pilots should not pay for the company’s inefficiency and mismanagement. The Association argued that that due to the shortage of pilots and the paying off of 17 pilots last year, Air Malta heavily relies on standby pilots.
“This is not the first time that Air Malta resorts to twisting facts. This is the second time in a few weeks were Air Malta publishes lies regarding its pilots, just recently Air Malta said that pilots get €750 for a cancelled leave day,” ALPA concluded.