Air Malta makes 69 pilots redundant after talks fail

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Air Malta has made 69 pilots redundant after talks failed between the national airline and the union representing the pilots. The airline said that it was unable to meet their “unreasonable demands”.

The decision to make half of its pilots redundant was announced in a statement late on Friday night, following weeks of negotiations.

Air Malta said that that while other unions representing other members of its workforce had understood the need to accept changes required to safeguard their livelihood, the pilots’ union had “refused” to do so.

The national airline has been forced to slash costs in order to remain afloat after its planes were grounded due to the coronavirus.

Air Malta said that it remained committed to ensure the connectivity of the islands to its major core European routes and its ongoing sustainability to the benefit of the remainder of its workforce.

“Unwanted but necessary decision”

The government described the redundancies as an unwanted but necessary decision. In a statement late on Friday night, the Economy Ministry claimed that the union’s decisions had led to unwanted but necessary decisions to the detriment of its members.

The government claimed that the union had insisted on a €73 million early retirement buyout, equivalent to €700,000 per pilot.

Recently Air Malta managed to strike a deal with other members of its workforce, including its cabin crew. In its latest agreement with the cabin crew, it was agreed that they would be paid according to the hours flown.