2-Aug-2010 8:59 AM

Philippine Airlines calls on pilots to return to work

Philippine Airlines apologised (31-Jul-2010) to its passengers affected by the carrier's inadequate number of flight deck crew on its A320 aircraft. The carrier stated the "indiscriminate" resignation of PAL's A320 pilots for flying jobs abroad whose salaries PAL is unable to match, is in violation of their contracts with PAL as well pertinent government regulations that require resigning pilots to give PAL six months prior notice to be able to train their replacements. PAL will soon file appropriate charges against pilots who chose not to report for work immediately after submitting resignation letters, giving the staff seven days to return to work. According to the carrier, most of the pilots still owe PAL the cost of their aviation school training, which run into millions of pesos per pilot. PAL is currently adjusting its schedules by merging some flights, upgrading aircraft to a bigger type in order and fielding of management pilots to lessen the inconvenience to affected passengers. [more]

The carrier was forced to cancel 18 flights over the weekend as a result of the resignations of the 13 captains and 12 first officers operating PAL’s A319 and A320 aircraft (Bloomberg, 01-Aug-2010). Philippines President, Benigno Aquino III, plans to hold two separate meetings with the country’s transport, labour and justice departments and PAL executives and the Airline Pilots Association of the Philippines (Alpap) on 02-Aug-2010 to try and resolve the issue (Xinhua, 01-Aug-2010/Gulf News, 02-Aug-2010). Union sources reportedly stated the resignations were in response to the carrier’s job cutting plans.

Philippine Government: “There has been disruption to our tourism efforts and to other aspects of the economy that would need their services. If this is not warranted, they lay themselves open with appropriate charges. Hopefully, we will be able to come up with a resolution so that the riding public is not inconvenienced and the economy does not suffer in what is an inter-company dispute… PAL, for instance, has obligations when they secured the franchise to operate this public conveyance. The pilots also have obligations. This is of course being studied,” Benigno Aquino, President. Source: Xinhua, 01-Aug-2010/Gulf News, 02-Aug-2010.

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