SkyTeam pilots support campaign for better pilot rest facilities in Virgin Atlantic,
and send solidarity to sacked Avianca pilots

Pilot rest in Virgin Atlantic

Pilot rest facilities is a vital safety issue and it is clear there are inconsistencies in standards across SkyTeam and other joint venture airlines such as Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic appear to have dismissed requests to provide a rest facility outside the flight deck for a third pilot operating on very long-haul routes with aircraft without dedicated crew rest facilities (i.e. Virgin’s A330 fleet). Virgin Atlantic’s current position is that unless there is a legal requirement, pilots will take any rest within the flight deck, resulting in poorer rest, and a less refreshed crew member prepared for the intense workload around the approach and landing after, in some cases, duties of over 12 hours.

The SkyTeam Pilots Association have today reiterated their support for the Virgin Atlantic Company Council, part of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) to rectify this situation, and bring rest facilities in Virgin in line with those in partner airlines.

Support for sacked Avianca pilots

The SkyTeam Pilots Association have also today expressed their wholehearted support to dismissed colleagues in Avianca in Colombia, in what is now a very long-running dispute. Avianca is not part of the SkyTeam alliance, but SkyTeam pilots resolved to show their solidarity to their fellow pilots at today’s meeting.

Avianca Colombia pilots in the local union, ACDAC, are coming under extreme pressure from their anti-union employer who appear reluctant to engage with the pilot workforce in meaningful industrial relations. Avianca management seem to have chosen a path of threats, intimidation and dismissal – including seizing personal assets.

Additionally, the Colombian government is attempting to stifle the rights to representation for Colombian pilots by taking steps to eliminate ACDAC as an organization.

We view these actions as completely unacceptable and we reiterate our full support for our colleagues in Avianca who are fighting back against these threats and fight for reasonable terms and conditions.