Third of EgyptAir pilots quit over stalled pay talks

Third of EgyptAir pilots quit over stalled pay talks
EgyptAir pilots have handed in their notices, saying that years of pay freezes have left them with some of the lowest wages in the aviation world.
2 min read
07 May, 2015
EgyptAir insist passengers won't be affected by the walk out [AFP]

Over a third of EgyptAir's pilots have resigned angered over pay and working conditions.

According to an official from Egypt's national carrier, 280 pilots handed in their notices after the company refused to a 50 percent pay rise.

Pilots also demanded that EgyptAir's management step down.

Crisis talks will be held on Saturday between the EgyptAir exectives, the minister of civil aviation, and representatives of the pilots.

The company insisted that flights would not be affected as pilots said they would continue flying until a decision was taken on their resignations.

Egypt's administrative court is looking into a case presented by the Egyptian civilian pilots syndicate demanding the reduction of pilots' working hours.

"[The resignations] are over the bad work conditions and low pilot wages in the company... [they] have become the lowest paid pilots in the world," claimed Sharif al-Manawi, of the Egyptian pilots' association.

Better conditions

     They have become the lowest paid pilots in the world.
Sharif al-Manawi, Egyptian pilots' association

In the resignation notice to the company, pilots wrote they would find work with "any other company that appreciates the value of a pilot".

Hossam Kamal, the Egyptian minister of civil aviation said the resignations were suprising.

"The timing is not right for such inexcusable decisions," he said.

EgyptAir said that the decision of the pilots marked "a sudden escalation" and said they would make a decision according to Egyptian law.

In Egypt, companies have one month to make a decision on resignations. Employers also have this time to retract.

EgyptAir, which employs 800 pilots, last year announced it was using a US aviation consultant to help restructure after it announced losses of more than $1bn.

Sameh al-Hefny, EgyptAir's chariman, said he wanted the company to break even in the 2015-2016 through a series of "fast reforms".