Air Malta To Take Legal Action Against Pilot's Union After Last-Minute Walkout
The estimated cost due to the hours-long delay is nearly €200,000
Air Malta has announced it will file a warrant of prohibitory injunction against the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) after members of an Air Malta flight to Catania walked out 22 minutes before take-off.
The warrant will be filed due to a breach of the collective agreement Air Malta and ALPA had signed months ago, Air Malta said. They said the walkout would cost them €180,000 in compensation and charges, and called ALPA's actions disproportionate and a flagrant breach of their agreement.
"ALPA has unexpectedly instructed its members not to operate flights scheduled to be operated by the airline’s newest aircraft (9H-AHS) that joined the fleet last weekend," Air Malta said in a statement.
"The dispute relates to the absence of the Cockpit Voice Recorder erase button, which is one of the ways in which cockpit voice recordings are deleted once an uneventful flight is completed. This function, which is not present in the 9th aircraft has no relevance to the safety of flights, nor does it in any manner jeopardise the pilots' privacy rights, however ALPA views its absence as a breach of the collective agreement," Air Malta continued.
It was reported that members of ALPA were unhappy with the fact that the newest plane didn't allow pilots to delete the recordings of their cockpit conversations when uneventful flights were over.
ALPA said the lack of this ability to erase the conversations was a breach of the collective agreement.
Air Malta said that they were working on arrangements with Airbus for this "needless" functionality to be reinstalled.
The flight has been delayed for nearly ten hours at time of publishing.