Building pilot unity across borders

April 13, 2018 – Yesterday, Thursday 12th April, marked a historic milestone in the development of Transnational Airline Pilot representation.

Hosted by the Irish Airline Pilots Association in Dublin, members of the transnational pilot groups representing Norwegian, SAS, easyJet and Ryanair pilots held a wide-ranging meeting to discuss areas of mutual interest. Also, in attendance were representatives from SNPL France ALPA, Argentinian and Dutch Pilot Associations, as well as the European Cockpit Association. The growth of Transnational airlines operating throughout Europe, and further afield, has forced pilots to recognize that they must cooperate and adopt new representation methods in order to address the challenges arising from these new business models.

Whilst the EU has created cross-border structures to deal with safety and operational matters (EASA), the social structures have lagged way behind, leaving pilots no option but to look for their own, creative solutions.

The meeting discussed in detail the challenges brought about by business structures that span borders and AOCs, and how the sharing of information and communication can help to establish common goals and ways to achieve them. Building pilot unity across both international borders and companies will help to build unity and alignment between all pilot member associations, with the potential to improve conditions across the industry.

All of the pilot groups are open to cooperate with their respective airlines in the pursuit of increased efficiency and commonality, whilst looking for ways to provide a solid social framework to make growth both sustainable and equitable. People are the resource that provide the competitive advantage and the key message coming from today is that low cost does not have to mean low social standards. Some airlines are more open to this approach than others, but it is hoped that all airline managements will come to see the significant advantages of transnational cooperation with their pilots.