Austrian Airlines Pilots “Unfit To Fly”

Following the announcement by the Austrian Airlines (AUA) Board of Directors on 30 April for a complete reorganisation, a number of its plots and flight crew have called in as “unfit to fly” in protest. So far, 24 flights had to be grounded this month, while Lufthansa – Austrian Airlines’ owner – took over some routes temporarily.

The restructuring plan involves transferring some 2,100 employees to the cheaper employment contracts of AUA’s subsidiary company Tyrolean by 1 July 2012. The plan is heavily contested by the Chair of the AUA Board of Directors, Karl Minhard – the aircrew’s works council – who in turn has offered an average salary cut of 28% as well as giving up about 55% of retirement benefits, if the existing contracts are maintained.

This would immediately save the company €230 million as well as an annual €40 million in the future. Meanwhile, due to the debate, 80 pilots and 170 flight attendants have left the company.

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