Tag Archives: ECA

ECA: Ryanair on a confrontation course, again

The European Cockpit Association (ECA) has issued this statement:

This will be the second summer of industrial unrest in a row for Ryanair and the underlying root causes seem similar, and familiar to those of last year: Ryanair’s inability to undertake genuine social dialogue with its employees.

“One year was sufficient for Ryanair to acquire and develop two new airlines – Malta Air and Ryanair Sun in Poland – and to buy a 3rd one – Laudamotion in Austria,” says ECA Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau. “But in all this time Ryanair has failed to negotiate long hoped-for Collective Labour Agreements (CLA) with its crew in several major countries. Improving relations with its employees clearly seems to have shifted to a lower place on the priority list.”

In the current highly sensitive context of social unrest, Ryanair seems to have opted again for its favorite approach: confrontation. The company issued warnings of job cuts, but few in the industry are convinced by the justification provided by the airline. The continually varying threats are reminiscent of last year’s, made after 100 Irish pilots walked out. However, with a future flying program larger than this year’s, even with the delayed arrival of ‘growth’ 737 MAX aircraft, and management continuing to recruit pilots, it is difficult to see these ever-changing warnings of a pilot surplus as genuine.

pilot ryanair strike

Dublin, July 2018

Ryanair announced cuts to 20% of its Dublin-based fleet this winter and possibly the dismissal of 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew in the weeks to come. This decision comes in the immediate aftermath of a series of one-day strikes by Irish based pilots and further industrial action across Europe.

“The Recognition Agreements with unions and the partial deals (e.g. on seniority) that Ryanair reached last summer were enough to buy the airline some time, but it has not been used to secure lasting industrial peace and a sustainable future for the airline. The ill-disguised threats to crew over the past weeks, regretfully, are yet another show of disregard for its employees and social dialogue. Has management really learnt nothing at all – or is it simply resistant to genuine change?”, asks Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General.

“With the outlines of future opportunities for union busting and social dumping already visible in Malta Air and Ryanair Sun, it is not surprising pilots are standing up to ensure their agreements, labour rights, and previous pledges from the airline will be respected,” says ECA President Jon Horne.

ECA is the representative body of over 40,000 pilots from across Europe, striving for the highest levels of aviation safety and fostering social rights and quality employment for pilots in Europe.

ECA: Before Boeing’s MAX return to service: we need answers and transparency

ECA, representing the pilots of Europe, issued this statement:

Regulators from across the globe met on May 23 in Texas (USA), to discuss a possible return to service of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX. The FAA is currently reviewing Boeing’s proposed ‘software fix’ and is already looking ahead at taking the plane back to the sky.

For European pilots, having closely followed the developments and revelations in the past months, it is deeply disturbing that both the FAA and Boeing are considering a return to service, but failing to discuss the many challenging questions prompted by the MAX design philosophy. ln particular, how can a design and regulatory setup that originally failed by approving a flawed aeroplane’s entry into service, credibly provide the solution without significant reform? The European Aviation Safety Agency has a key role to play providing transparent, independent reassurance to pilots and Europe’s travellers.

“Boeing must bring in clarity about its design and also the philosophy that stands behind it” states Jon Horne, ECA President. “Apparently only one sensor was chosen to feed a critical system such as MCAS, rendering it highly vulnerable. No hands-on experience of this system – either working or failed – and only fitted in the first place to counteract unacceptable handling characteristics, was part of pilot training requirements. All this to enable the aircraft to be classified as a common type with previous 737s, avoiding costly ‘type-rating’ training for 737 pilots that switch to the MAX. Has the desire for a more marketable common type-rating been prioritised over a safer design of the aircraft itself? Are there any other systems where the same design logic has been applied? We don’t know. But it is us, the pilots, who do need to know if we are to fly our aircraft safely. Our list of open questions gets longer by the day. It is up to Boeing and the FAA to finally take responsibility and be transparent about this.”

European Coastal Airlines to launch seaplane flights in Croatia

European Coastal DHC-6 (ECA)(LRW)

European Coastal Airlines-ECA (Zagreb, Croatia) is a new seaplane operator founded in 2000. Ever since its foundation it has been working on the infrastructural in Croatia to start regularly scheduled seaplane operations to connect major cities and the islands along the Croatian coast. The goal is to connect all 66 inhabited islands of Croatia as well as expand operations later to Italy, Monaco and Greece.

European Coastal logo (large)

The new seaplane carrier is planning to launch scheduled passenger flights later this month with a fleet of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters and Grumman G-21A Goose aircraft. The first flight will connect Split Airport with the resort destination of Jelsa on the island of Hvar. The new airline will also soon operate flights from Pula, Rab, Split and Zadar.

European Coastal Island Hopping banner (LRW)

Read the interview with CEO Klaus Dieter Martin: CLICK HERE

All images by European Coastal Airlines.

European Coastal DHC-6 Cockpit (ECA)(LRW)

Above: The cockpit of the DHC-6 Twin Otter 9A-TOA.

European Coastal DHC-6 Cabin (ECA)(LRW)

Above the cabin of the DHC-6 Twin Otter.