Rapid growth sparks pi­lot woes in Ire­land

Calgary Herald - - TRAVEL - Com­piled by An­dre Ramshaw, Post­media News

Bonuses of $7,500 were not enough to en­tice pi­lots to work on their days off as an Ir­ish air­line scram­bles to staff cock­pits amid rapid ex­pan­sion. Aer Lin­gus was also dan­gling an ex­tra 10 days of hol­i­day as it tried to avoid chaos on its transat­lantic sched­ule, the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent re­ported. Sources quoted by the pa­per said Aer Lin­gus was forced to pay $120,000 to hire a Por­tuguese char­ter ser­vice on a re­cent Dublin-Bos­ton flight af­ter Air­bus A330 cap­tains re­fused the ex­tra pay and va­ca­tion of­fer. Flights from Chicago were also said to have been de­layed by as much as seven hours over two week­ends. Transat­lantic pi­lots are re­port­edly in a “high-stakes stand­off ” with the boom­ing air­line over its al­leged fail­ure to hire enough pi­lots to keep up with rapid growth. Pi­lots say the busy sum­mer sea­son has seen them ap­proach their an­nual limit of 900 fly­ing hours. But a spokesman for Aer Lin­gus told The In­de­pen­dent “there is no short­age of pi­lots” and an A330 cap­tain’s hours this year will be lower than the in­dus­try aver­age.

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