Air Malta in breach of safety rules, pilot union says

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The pilots’ association, ALPA, has said that the national airline was in breach of safety rules and procedures when Air Malta dismissed its pilots and demoted a substantial amount of Captains without having commissioned a Safety Risk Assessment in terms of the airline’s Safety Management System Manual. The risk assessment is also required by the Transport Malta Civil Aviation Directorate.

In a statement on Tuesday, ALPA explained that the lack of risk assessment has given rise to a state of illegality which led to newly-demoted pilots being pulled off rosters. Air Malta may only deploy around 30 pilots to operate upcoming flights, ALPA said.

The pilots’ association said that Air Malta’s CEO Clifford Chetcuti is legally responsible for the irregularity and the consequences which stem from it.

Chetcuti also occupies the role of Accountable Manager of the national airline. He was ‘hand-picked’ for the role by disgraced Minister Konrad Mizzi, despite not having any previous experience in managing an airline.

The association also referred to reports that Air Malta’s shareholder was willing to re-enter negotiations with it, however, to date no one has approached ALPA in this regard.

ALPA said that Air Malta’s lawyer Dr Galea Cavallazzi made it clear that the national airline would not meet ALPA on Monday.

The association reminded that the the redundancy of 69 pilots was communicated directly to its members, despite discussions still being underway and despite its committee having received assurances that no redundancies or demotions would be made.

Recently Air Malta has ranked in the first place in the European Hall of Shame for its treatment of its employees.

The European Hall of Shame is a classification by the European Cockpit Association. The latter was created in 1991 and is the representative body of European pilots at a European level.