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Faced with the lack of pilots this summer, this solution found by airlines worries

Holidays may turn out to be more complicated than expected this summer. For several weeks already, scenes showing monster queues have been observed in many British or Dutch airports. Blame it on a lack of staff at airports or within companies. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of them made budget cuts and laid off many employees. But today, traffic has resumed, which raises fears of series flight cancellations, as mentioned a few days ago. The French pilots of EasyJet, in particular, are worried about the lack of staff among the hostesses and stewards and “a little among the captains”, indicated the National Union of Airline Pilots (SNPL).

Faced with these situations, a solution is being considered by companies, relates . Thus, some of them, low cost, do not hesitate to call on self-employed pilots for the summer. Our colleagues explain that they notably go through a Polish subcontractor: Buzz. Problem, this presents risks, deplores the SNPL through its spokesperson, Olivier Cadiot. “It poses several problems, especially for flight safety”, he blurts out before specifying: “When you are self-employed, you may be going to carry out the mission while being tired” or sick.

“Uber-like” drivers

If the big companies are less affected because they laid off fewer workers during the period linked to Covid-19, the low cost ones are. Europe 1 recalls that, during the week, the CEO of Wizz Air asked his employees to “make an effort to avoid cancellations”. But these statements have not been passed on to the European Union of Pilots, which points the finger at the same problem as with self-employed entrepreneurs and does not hesitate to make a shocking comparison: “Asking pilots to fly when they are tired is like giving the keys to a car to a drunk driver.”

If the companies do not want to cancel in the middle of summer and incur the wrath of users, they will therefore rely on self-employed pilots, qualified by the SNPL as “Uber-type” pilots. At Aéroports de Paris alone, there would be a shortage of 4,000 people, for example. Reason why the staff went on strike on June 8th. This is also why companies are already advising to come earlier this summer to catch a flight, and thus not be trapped in long queues.


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