Sunday, August 1, 2010

Philippine president steps into airline row

Hope this does not happen in your place... Thousands of passengers in Manila, Phillippines were stranded in the airport for hours, not because of flight delays or technical issues or the weather factors - but there is not enough pilots to fly the aircraft!!!

Apparently 25 pilots - 13 captains and 12 first officers suddenly quit the airlines for better paying jobs as pilots in other airlines companies.. Pheww.. The situation is so serious till now that the Phillipines President, Beningno Aquino himself has to personally intervene to avoid further inconveniences to the passengers and more importantly to save the nation's aviation industry!!!

Well, Phillipines Airlines, PAL is quite a huge airlines company.

The aircrafts fleet includes :

Boeing 777-300 ER - 2 aircrafts

Boeing 747-400 - 5 aircrafts

Airbus A340-300 - 4 aircrafts

Airbus A330-300 - 8 aircrafts

Airbus A320-200 - 16 aircrafts

Airbus 319-100 - 4 aircrafts

The newsreport here :

MANILA, Phillipines 1st Aug 2010 :

President Benigno Aquino said on Sunday his government would intervene in a labour dispute between pilots and flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) which had caused flight cancellations.

Aquino said ministers from the departments of justice, transportation, labour and his chief aide would on Monday meet separately with airline executives and representatives from the pilots' union to resolve the row.

"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 because of what is an inter-company dispute," Aquino told reporters.

In a statement Sunday, PAL said it rejected the resignations of more than two dozen pilots and gave them a week to return to work or face civil and criminal charges.

At least 16 domestic and international flights had been cancelled, including three to Hong Kong, after 13 captains and 12 first officers flying its Airbus A319s and A320s that form the backbone of its fleet quit.

"They left without giving PAL ample time to train replacements," the airline said. "Some of them even owe PAL millions of pesos for the cost of training (them)."

PAL apologised to the public for the inconvenience, but said the resignations were unforeseen.

"Many of them simply did not show up for work and just handed in their resignation letters," PAL said.

It said most of those who quit had been poached by foreign airlines it did not name, at salaries three times those offered by PAL.

Aquino said labour officials would study whether the pilots had breached their contracts.

"If this was not warranted, then they lay themselves also open to appropriate charges," Aquino said.

The Association of Airline Pilots of the Philippines, which represent the PAL pilots, could not be reached immediately for comment.

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