Jet2 pilots are ‘fearful’ of talking to bosses, says union

Jet2 see softening of prices
By Linsey McNeill
28/07/2022
Home » Jet2 pilots are ‘fearful’ of talking to bosses, says union

Pilots’ union BALPA says it’s dismayed that Jet2 has refused to recognise increasing concern from its pilots about fatigue and stress that could impact flight safety.

It told Travel Gossip that pilots are ‘fearful’ of talking to the airline, so they’re reporting their concerns to BALPA, which is passing them on to the Civil Aviation Authority.

BALPA said it’s not the total number of flying hours that’s causing problems for pilots, but the management of hours. It added: “Jet2 does not operate a functioning Fatigue Risk Management System as we are receiving the pilots’ concerns over fatigue and feeding them through to the CAA.”

It has asked the airline to ‘agree meaningful safety protections for pilot rosters’, which the union says are necessary in the light of current, more permissive European flight time rules that could, it believes, affect pilots’ health.

However, BALPA says Jet2 ‘blunty’ refuses to meet union bosses.

The union said Jet2 is the only major airline not to have a scheduling agreement with BALPA.

It says Jet2 initially stated ‘cost’ and ‘lack of resources’ as reasons for its refusal to discuss scheduling, but later the airline told BALPA that it wasn’t obliged to discuss rostering with the union.

Travel Gossip approached Jet2 for a statement but the company declined to comment on the matter.

In a statement, published to its 15k followers on Twitter, BALPA said it was ‘calling out Jet2 for failing to implement basic safety precautions for pilot rosters’.

It said they were ‘not sustainable and could have a detrimental effect [on] safety’.

In a press statement, the union said: “BALPA has written to the company to offer to work collaboratively to find mutually beneficial safety systems that protect staff and the travelling public by keeping safety at the heart of operations.  
  
“Jet2 bluntly refuses to work with BALPA stating ‘cost’ as a main objection. The company later indicated a ‘lack of resources’ before stating simply that ‘we do not want to’. 
 
“The company, which presents itself to the public as family friendly, in contrast has always been anti-trade union. It rejected reaching voluntary recognition forcing BALPA to seek a statutory award in order to represent its members.   

BALPA National Officer Terry Brandon said Jet2 had told the union that although it takes safety ‘extremely seriously’, they ‘do not wish, and are not obliged, to engage with BALPA on these matters’.

He added: “We are deeply concerned about Jet2 management’s attitude in response to a genuine offer of using safety experts for the benefit of everyone, including their passengers. 
 
“We appeal to Jet2 to listen to its pilots and BALPA now, and implement basic roster protections that protect the health of our members during the busy summer season. Failing to do so risks significant pilot fatigue and health issues.” 

Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi recently caused alarm for allegedly telling tired pilots not to take sick leave.

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