Air Malta’s operations and training programmes not updated to reflect changes – ALPA

Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Air Malta’s operations manuals and training programmes have not been updated to reflect the changes brought after the national airline made all of its First Officers redundant, the pilots’ association said on Saturday.

Reacting to comments made in court by the airline’s Chief Human Resources Officer James Genovese during proceedings before the First Hall of the Civil Court, ALPA noted that despite the operations manual and training programmes were approved in their entirety by the relevant authorities, Air Malta failed to amend them to reflect the changes.

This led to the association to call on the national airline to forward a risk assessment reflecting the change in crew complement.

“The risk assessment was to be carried out with due diligence before the said action and is mandated by European Aviation Regulations,” ALPA noted. Such assessments are required to ensure that there exist no unacceptable risks which could jeopardise the health or the well being of its members.

In court, Genovese alleged that safety issues may arise in the cockpit when two Captains are scheduled to operate the same flights. After the First Officers were made redundant, Air Malta is now bound to have its flights manned solely and exclusively by the Captains who were retained in employment.

ALPA explained that it is common practice for airlines to employ a crew complement of approximately the same number of Captains and First Officers.

The pilots’ association voiced its concern following the comments made by the Chief Human Resources Officer.

ALPA has formally requested Air Malta to clarify Genovese’s statements, adding that it would take all necessary measures to ensure that its members are not exposed to any unnecessary risks during the daily operation of its aircraft.

Air Malta accuses ALPA of jeopardizing airline’s recovery

Air Malta has lambasted ALPA for its “disruptive” attitude in a statement it issued to react to an earlier statement by the pilots’ association.

Air Malta said that it is doing its utmost to re-establish operations in these testing times to support the nation and safeguard as many jobs of its employees as possible.

The national airline accused to pilots’ association of jeopardizing the airline’s recovery “by distorting the truth”.

“There is absolutely no safety issue with two captains flying together, this is in fact also approved by the regulator and clearly defined by the policy and procedures of how a pilot is designated as Commander when two Captains fly together,” Air Malta said.