Air Malta Replies to the ECA and ALPA

Date: Tuesday, 14 th April 2020
Ref: 035-2020 EN

Air Malta Replies to the ECA and ALPA

Air Malta refers to the letter sent to Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr Robert Abela, and the Minister for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Mr. Silvio Schembri, by the European Cockpit Association of which ALPA, the union representing Air Malta pilots, is a member.

Air Malta notes that it would have been better if ALPA sat around the table with the company first to discuss the financial implications of the pandemic on the Airline. Air Malta highlights the fact that ALPA repeatedly dismissed offers from the airline to reach an agreement, that would have been sustainable and would have safeguarded the employment of its members.

ALPA’s attempted display of force, seeking to leverage the company into paying pilots more than other employees in a time of virtually zero revenues is appalling. During times of crisis it comes without saying that all stakeholders should be cooperating to safeguard the survival and long-term viability of the airline, not personal interest.

The airline also notes that it is ironic that ALPA is now making comparisons with pilots employed with other European Airlines when in the past the union refuted such comparisons when the company had proposed similar conditions which were more at par with the industry norms.

Air Malta highlights an excerpt from the ECA letter where it says, “The burden of the current situation must be borne equally by all employees from the very top to the bottom. Pilots are willing to carry their fair share of the burden, after ensuring that the process of meaningful consultation has been duly carried out…”.

The airline notes that this is precisely what it tried to do with ALPA several times, but it was ignored. Air Malta insists that pilots should not feel entitled to be paid more than other employees, in a situation where its members are at home with absolutely no work and the company is facing economic hardship.

While temporary arrangements are necessary to deal with the ongoing crisis, the union has clearly shown that it will leverage its position when presented with the opportunity.

The airline’s primary interest is to ensure that it safeguards its longterm viability and that its operations are not compromised. Longerterm measures are therefore required to protect the airline and its sustainability from unjustified leverage, once it starts flying again.

Air Malta is responsible to safeguard all its employees and therefore cannot prefer one section over others.

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