CHI - The confrontation between the Pakistan Airline (PIA) and Pakistan Airline Pilot Association (PALPA) has been resolved and the working agreement will be signed on July 31, 2009, confirmed PALPA President Capt Imran Usman.
The meeting was held between the PIA and PALPA after the Ministry of Defence intervened and asked both the parties to come for negotiation under the Ministry.
Usman added that they have reached to an accord with the management according to which the working agreement would be signed on July 31, as PIA has demanded time to consider different aspects of the agreement. It was incorrectly portrayed that PALPA has gone on strike, he said, adding we were only demanding the right of pilots, as a working agreement is the right of the pilots.
Usman maintained that the guarantee has been taken from the PIA management that 70 hours flying allowance would be given to the pilots, when they are attending training courses, medical facilities or taking sick leave.
Currently, during training and sick leave, the pilots did not get flying hours and other benefits that are given to those who take flights.
About the demand of pay raise, Usman viewed that our demand of 35 per cent pay-raise was our plan to bring the management on the table for talks. We understand the financial situation of the airline and we will cooperate with the management, but PIA should also show some confidence building measures, he added.
An official from the PIA said that PALPA has shown magnanimity and realized the financial condition of the airline and PALPA has agreed to withdraw its demand of 35 % hike in the remunerations, which will be considered in the working agreement. During the period of April 17 to 23, the airline has suffered Rs 240 million losses as several foreign flights had been cancelled.
He further added that the pilots would have to complete 210 hours of flights in 3 months. If they fail to complete the flying hours, they will face deduction in their salaries. The airline is paying them for their services and we hope PALPA will realize the situation, he said.
The duty limitation for the day or flight has been set for 12 hours, said the source, on the other hand, PALPA has agreed to this recommendation as PALPA wants to run the airline smoothly.
The flying period of 70 hours in a month needed to be completed by the pilot, it is not the problem that whether the pilot completes it in 20 days or 25 days. We are only demanding for 10 days off, in order to have complete rest and avoid fatigue, said Capt Arif Majeed, General Secretary PALPA.
We have also agreed for 25 waver flights, as we are disciplined people and know how we can solve our problems along with that of the Airline, he concluded.