MHRA calls on Air Malta pilots to ‘be responsible before causing any further disruptions’

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 June, 2023 at 12:26 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has called on the Airline Pilots Association to ‘be responsible before causing any further disruptions’ to Air Malta, after the pilots decided to ‘work to rule’ this week. 

“Now that the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector in Malta is recovering over the major losses suffered during two years of economic hardship resulting from the global pandemic, MHRA appeals to the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) to be responsible before causing any further disruptions which will directly hurt the people of goodwill who have been waiting for this moment for their business to finally pick up again,” the MHRA said in its statement. 

The statement comes after Finance Minister Clyde Caruana accused Air Malta’s pilots of trying to put pressure on the government in negotiations by ‘working to rule’ without prior consultation with their management. 

‘Work to rule’ can be defined as following official working rules and hours exactly to the letter in order to reduce output and efficiency, especially as a form of industrial action.  This means not going beyond the hours or roles which one has in their contract in order to complete any tasks.  

The MHRA said that Air Malta is key to the tourism industry and the economic wellbeing of the country, and noted that the Government along with the relevant stakeholders are already doing a lot to ensure that the national airline remains afloat. 

“This however does not give the right to anyone who disagrees with how this needs to be done by causing further damage to the wider economy and to the same people who ultimately are paying the taxes for Air Malta to keep going,” the MHRA said. 

The MHRA said that it is confident that the leaders of the ALPA will take up this appeal constructively and will resort to discussions rather than to insensitive disruptive actions. 

MHRA said that it is ready to assist in bridging any difference which may exist between Government and the ALPA with the aim of reaching an agreement which reflects a fair deal for all involved including the taxpayers. 

“Any other avenue will lead nowhere but to a disaster. Let’s keep the wellbeing of the national airlines as the priority for the wellbeing of our country,” the association said. 

The action by the pilots has caused delays in Air Malta’s operations: yesterday the airline failed to find cover for four pilots who called in sick, leading to delays to the airline’s flight to and from Lyon in France.

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