Air Malta CEO asked for a 70% cut in wage and perks

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri says Air Malta will be keeping enough workers to operate only two aircraft

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri
Economy Minister Silvio Schembri

Air Malta CEO Clifford Chetcuti has asked for a 70% cut in his wage and perks, the Economy Minister said as he responded to criticism by pilots hit by mass redundancies.

Silvio Schembri was reacting to a statement by the Airline Pilots Association that cast doubt on whether the national airline’s management had also taken a steep cut in wages as was their case.

The tit-for-tat comes on the back of Air Malta’s decision to terminate the employment of more than 300 pilots and cabin crew after unions representing these categories refused to accept a substantial wage cut for members.

On Wednesday, Air Malta took the unprecedented step of terminating the job of 108 pilots, 139 cabin crew on indefinite contracts, and stop 145 cabin crew on fixed-term contracts.

READ ALSO: Air Malta makes 108 pilots, 139 cabin crew redundant after unions refuses pay cut

Air Malta has lost all its revenue after travel restriction to stop the spread of the coronavirus have closed airports and grounded airlines. It is only operating two aircraft from a fleet of 10 to help in repatriation flights and the transport of cargo.

Alpa and the Union of Cabin Crew refused to accept a social wage of €1,200 per month for their members who were doing nothing at home.

Schembri criticised the unions for their intransigence at a time when the airline needed everyone to pull the same rope.

The airline proposed to continue paying the same wages to those who had work and offered a social wage of €1,200 to other employees.

Engineers have accepted the company’s deal and members of the General Workers’ Union are also expected to agree.

Schembri said the airline was keeping enough people to operate two aircraft.

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