Judge turns down pilots’ request to stop dismissal from Air Malta

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A court of law has turned down a request by the Airline Pilots Association to stop Air Malta from dismissing 69 pilots.

The court, presided by Mr Justice Toni Abela, accepted the ALPA request for the airline not to demote pilots.

The ruling was given after the airline and the association did not come to an amicable agreement on the dismissal of the pilots.

In a post on Facebook, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri said the court had upheld the airline’s arguments against an association which did not want to accept the need to cut down on the number of pilots in the wake of the crisis brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a sitting on Friday, Mr Justice Abela heard lawyers Andre Portelli, for ALPA and Ron Galea Cavallazzi for Air Malta exchange arguments, over the injunction, which stopped the airline from terminating or demoting different tranches of pilots.

The company had asked the Airline Pilots Association for “a genuine understanding” of the situation for Air Malta to overcome the financial difficulties brought about by the closure of the airport and the cancellation of many flights.

With the airport set to reopen next week, Air Malta is trying to secure a sustainable operation over the next 12 months as the tourism industry is re-ignited.