Updated: Air Malta’s allegations a cover up for its incompetence – ALPA

Malta International Airport plc

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Updated with ALPA’s statement

‘The allegations were solely intended as a cover up for the incompetence of the select few,’ the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) said on Saturday in its reaction to claims made earlier by the Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.

During the launch of Airbus A320neo, Minister Mizzi made it known that the national airline will launch an internal investigation into the “abnormal” amount of pilots who called in sick to work.

In its statement ALPA observed that such allegations have already been made in the past by the airline’s management with the company claiming that there had been a 1000% increase in crew sickness. The union added that to date, such claim was not corroborated.

The Union argued that the selected few who were appointed to steer Air Malta are driving the national airline on the path of self-destruction.

Air Malta to investigate pilots’ sick leave

Air Malta will launch an internal investigation after 12 out of 24 pilots called in sick to work, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said on Saturday during the official launch of the airline’s third brand new Airbus 320.

Mizzi said that the national airline is concerned with such behaviour which has resulted in delays on various flights.

The Tourism Minister claimed that the majority of the pilots and air crew members are pulling on the same rope and behave in professional manner.

Veiled threats

The third Airbus A320neo joined Air Malta’s fleet on Saturday.

According to Mizzi, Air Malta is aiming to buy an Airbus A321XLR for long-haul flights.

The Tourism Minister claimed that such an investment would require a new collective agreement to be reached with the unions. He warned the pilots’ union ALPA, that if a new agreement is not reached, the government will be “forced to operate long-haul flights” through other airlines.

He alleged that the early retirement package scheme of €700,000 for every pilot constitutes state said, and therefore the government could not guarantee such a scheme.