The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) hits back at Air Malta with a call for CEO Peter Davies to resign.
The feud between Air Malta and its pilots has reached a sour point with the pilots now calling for the resignation of CEO Peter Davies after Air Malta yesterday accused ALPA of disrupting the restructuring process.
According to ALPA, Air Malta's management has also accused it of having caused a €2.5million loss when ALPA blocked a lease of an extra aircraft.
Air Malta has been leasing aircraft on a regular basis for many years.
"Both ALPA and its members have been instrumental in providing leasing opportunities for Air Malta on a number of occasions over the years," the association said.
"ALPA continues and will continue to support Air Malta's leasing efforts in the same way that ALPA has facilitated the employment of a number of Air Malta pilots to other airlines in order to reduce significantly the airline's payroll burden."
ALPA said it will continue to honour its existing collective agreement, including those clauses concerning leasing.
"Any suggestion that ALPA is responsible for the sheer incompetence of Air Malta's higher management in dealing with aircraft leasing is shocking and dishonest," the pilots said.
"ALPA remains prepared to operate wet leases immediately, however it appears that the airline is actually unable to accept wet leases because of a lack of flight and cabin crew and as a result of restructuring restrictions by the European Union, which for some reason, to date remain unpublished."
ALPA accused Air Malta's management of trying to fool its shareholders and the Maltese public into believing that ALPA is asking for a ridiculous increase in pay. "The facts are that ALPA had actually offered to take an increase only after some stability returns to the airline's finances," ALPA said.
It added that the increase it was negotiating was negotiating was 3% pa on the basic wage, in addition to arrears which were still being claimed and a slight increase in the overtime rate or points.
"Air Malta's management were resorting to trickery that is disrespectful to our airline's shareholders and the Maltese public who are not fools," ALPA said.
The association said that recently, it received notice that the company's negotiating position was final.
"A meeting with the Director of Labour planned for today was unfortunately cancelled by Air Malta's management. Such an attitude by Air Malta's management is not conducive to improving relations," the pilots' association added.
ALPA said while Air Malta's management was working to push it into taking industrial action, its members will continue to work according to their contractual obligations and will resist provocation by "certain persons in Air Malta's management" as far as possible and until such a time that safety becomes a significant issue.
"The continued mismanagement of Air Malta should be a serious concern for Malta as a whole. It is already clear to those who are involved in the day-to-day operation of the airline that very little, if any progress has been achieved by the airline's current management... except in the area of redundancies which came at a high price," ALPA said.
"The rebranding Air Malta needs is the sort that sees the replacement of Air Malta's existing CEO with a fresh brand of airline management."