BREAKING NEWS +++ Easyjet pilots have suspended strike plans while new proposals on tackling pilot fatigue are examined.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said talks had been held to try to resolve the dispute plus newly tabled proposals to mitigate pilot fatigue would now be put to members in a ballot.
Brian Strutton, Balpa's general secretary, stressed it did not mean the dispute was over, but "sufficient progress" had been made.
British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) General Secretary Brian Strutton, has issued a statement putting EasyJet management on notice that industrial action is on the cards over unresolved pilot fatigue issues with the budget airline.
Mr Strutton said: "BALPA members in easyJet have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action in a dispute over pilot fatigue.
"In a ballot which closed today 96% voted for some form of industrial action on a turnout of 88%.
"BALPA has now received a last minute offer from easyJet to resolve the dispute and we will consider this carefully in meetings tomorrow before taking any further decisions.
"For clarity that means there are no plans for pilots taking industrial action in easyJet at this stage. We (BALPA) will issue further information tomorrow.”
Julian Bray aviation expert comments: Pilot fatigue is a major concern for commercial aviation pilots as competition builds between so called budget airlines, who are now making substantial inroads into the upmarket business travel sector. Pilots are being pushed to the career maximum to maintain rotations, and it only needs a minor change or delay in the overall scheduling process to make conditions virtually impossible for pilots and potentially unsafe for the passengers they carry. In effect no one wins, as word will soon get round to those who control ticketing that tired or fatigued pilots will not be acceptable to their clients, they will simply place such airlines on a black list.
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