Air Malta pays pilots €360 for every off-day they are denied

Airline says pilots are insisting that apart from payment, they get to keep the right for a day-off in lieu 

Air Malta has disputed comments made by pilots’ union ALPA that pilots are being made to fly to their maximum legal limits. 

The national airline issued data showing that Air Malta pilots fly an average of 650 hours every year, well below industry standards it said or the legal limit of 900 hours annually. 

“Air Malta is surprised by the comments given to the media by ALPA, that the airline does not have enough pilots. The union added that the airline is ‘regularly rostering crew to fly to their maximum legal limits’ leading to an ‘unprecedented level of fatigue being recorded’.” 

Air Malta said in a statement that it had enough pilots to operate its schedule and that delays experienced this summer on a number of flights were the result of “recommendations issued by the union to its members where they showed inflexibility to any roster changes unlike previous years.”  

READ MORE Pilots each get €750 when Air Malta cancels leave day 

Air Malta said it always provides its pilot community with the legal 96 off days per year. “Over and above this legal requirement, the collective agreement mandates to provide pilots with an additional eight more days off-days per year. When the airline dos not provide these additional off days, the collective agreement mentions the requirement to compensate the pilots with denied off-day payments.” 

Air Malta said that it was paying captains an average of €360 for every denied off-day. “ALPA is now also insisting that apart from this payment, its members keep the right for a day-off in lieu. This would effectively amount to doubling of this payment,” the airline said. 

The airline also said that it investigated allegations made by the union that there were Flight Time Limitation breaches. “Airline data shows that human error and IT issues were generally the root cause of these rostering mistakes and amounted to less than 0.2% of all flights. These mistakes were identified before flights were executed and corrected accordingly with mitigating actions taken thereafter. Air Malta maintains that safety of its customers and crew is paramount and that it will never compromise on its safety record.”  

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