The pilots describe the current problems as a toxic situation, which is the result of the airlines’ efforts to push for the lowest possible prices. Therefore, according to them, there should also be safety in Szczecin.
But it’s not just about pilots, the same opinion is expressed by employees in air transport. Although the airlines are accused of flying and they say that they don’t do what they have, CNBC reporters spoke to pilots who work for a large airline, and all of them stood up to one another on a continuous line of questioning. According to them, the upheaval is the result of opportunism and the airline companies’ efforts to reduce costs in the wake of a toxic culture.
The culture described according to these people permeates the entire industry and worsens the rather complicated situation that travelers today are in. All the employees the reporters talked to were willing to talk about the deaths in air transport only on condition of anonymity.
From the point of view of passengers, it is absolutely a nightmare, said one of the pilots who works for the British low-cost airline easyJet. Before the summer arrest, it was a full massacre because the airlines didn’t know what to do. They didn’t have a full day prepared. The only thing is that he wants to try to fly as much as humanly possible, almost as if the pandemic had never been here, he continued. But they forgot that they limited all their resources, he added.
The resulting imbalance made life hell for them, both for the passengers and for the pilots, added the easyJet pilot. He then explained in detail how the lack of ground staff since the beginning of the pandemic has created a domino effect that makes it impossible to keep up with flights. That’s why there are few employees at the airports who handle luggage, carry out passport control or take care of security.
The easyJet company stated in the press that the health and satisfaction of employees has the highest priority. As an employer, we take our responsibility very seriously, we employ our people according to local contracts, according to competitive conditions and in accordance with local laws, the British company responded.
The air transport industry owes a combination of several factors – on the one hand, there is not enough money on the knees, and on the other hand, former employees do not want to return to environments where wages are unattractive. Employee incomes have remained low since the recession forced by the pandemic, while airlines have increased sales in particular.
They told our pilots that we will have dream wages at least until 2030, while all managers have their salaries back to the original level and that will be reduced due to inflation, CNBC quotes another pilot who flies for British Airways.
According to him, the government with its restrictions and zero support for the aviation sector, as well as the flight operator, are responsible for the current chaos at airports. Some airlines took advantage of the situation to cut wages, change labor contracts and leave. And when it goes back to normal, you can’t deal with it, added the British Airways pilot. Although for many years even the airlines have hired employees and offered better wages, the people are on their knees and safety is under pressure, which makes the situation worse.
The ground staff of British Airways wanted to go on strike in August, because the employees were still not restored to their original wages after the pandemic. They can’t do that, especially in a situation where the parent company IAG Luis Gallego received 250 thousand pounds (7.3 million crowns) a year to cover his living expenses. This week, however, the union and the company agreed on a wage hike, so the strike was dismissed. However, hundreds of employees believe that even then, their wages will not be on par with the pre-pandemic.
Gallego, his company owned by British Airways, gave up 900,000 pounds (26.4 million crowns) last year and voluntarily agreed to a salary for 2020 and 2021. He didn’t even get a premium for 2020.
One of the pilots of Dubai’s Emirates airline said that the roots of the current situation go back a long way. In the industry this year, there was a short-sighted view that finding employees in air transport was never a problem. Airlines have been trying to cut wages for employees all year, thinking that most of them have nowhere to go.
Well, when you pay people to go somewhere else first, they are in the eye. This is unacceptable, to the pilots of Dubai Airlines. It bothers me that they are in the eye.
In Britain, a pilot can fly a maximum of 900 hours a year. However, many airlines do not consider this to be the absolute maximum, rather a goal to which they must strive. He tries to escape from anywhere, as much as possible, to pilot easyJet.
The biggest concern we have is that there is a toxic culture here, and there is a lot of work to be done, the Emirates airline pilot adds. All of this potentially reduces security. And that really worried us.