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
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A CAPA report in Jun-2016 highlighted the growing number of articles on CAPA's website mentioning the word 'strike'. It raised the possibility that if the rate continued through the year, 2016 could be the biggest year for strike-related articles since before the global financial crisis. With a little under a month still to go, this year has already comfortably passed this milestone.
To a large extent labour unrest grows as airline industry profits increase. However, rather than hoping for an industry downturn to reverse the rise in the cycle of strikes, airline CEOs are talking tough – a line long taken by IAG's Willie Walsh. Lufthansa's Carsten Spohr has said that taking on the pilots is "about the future of Lufthansa", noting that it has “no chance of survival" if it gives in to pay demands (Bloomberg, 24-Nov-2016).