Air Zimbabwe pilots have reportedly announced plans to call off their month-long strike and plan to resume operating international services immediately (The Zimbabwean Guardian/New Zimbabwe, 20-Apr-2011). The airline’s general manager for Europe, David Mwenga, said an agreement had been reached with pilots, and that the Harare headquarters would outline further details. Air Zimbabwe pilots have been on strike since 22-Mar-2011 and were requesting outstanding pay and allowances. Air Zimbabwe claimed it lacked the funds to pay pilots outstanding allowances, which were believed to total USD4 million. Pilots had also demanded an improvement in conditions of service, including the acquisition of new aircraft to make the airline competitive again. The airline took delivery of a B737-500 on lease, with senior management insisting the entire fleet may need phasing out, including its two B767s which operate international routes.
Air Zimbabwe pilots end strike
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Europe's aviation strike spike could signal a cyclical peak - with downturn to follow
One swallow does not make a spring and nor does a rash of aviation strike news guarantee a turning point for the aviation industry. But the signs are ominous. In the month of Jun-2016 (to 20-Jun-2016), there have been 136 articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. This compares with 81 for the first 20 days of Jun-2015. For 2016 so far (1-Jan-2016 to 20-Jun-2016), the 's' word has occurred in 594 articles – about 20% more than in the same period in each of the past two years. If this rate continues, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis.
The vast majority of the Jun-2016 articles – 80% – relate to Europe. A significant source is air traffic control disputes, particularly French ATC. There have also been strikes and/or strike threats involving airport workers and ground handlers. Among European airlines, Air France has generated the most coverage for its ongoing dispute with its pilots, and it may also face a cabin crew strike. Lufthansa has not yet faced a strike by its employees this year, but has not yet reached new agreements with pilots or cabin crew after industrial action last year.
History tells us that labour's demands grow as profits rise. The apparent increase in industrial action this year could be a signal of an approaching peak in the airline profit cycle. There are other causes of unrest, such as impending French labour legislation, but the correlation reflects some history.