Thursday, 30 August 2012

Air Malta Restructuring Go Ahead



The deal struck between pilots and Air Malta has overcome the last hurdle after a difficult restructuring exercise, according to the airline’s CEO.
Peter Davies yesterday said the four-year agreement clinched in the early hours of Saturday meant Air Malta “could now move forward”.
“It is critical that we got a deal on more efficiency and productivity that is within budget,” he said.


Air Malta’s restructuring, which saw the airline obtain a multi-million government subsidy and reduce its workforce by 500 people, was approved by the European Commission earlier this year.
The restructuring is governed by strict targets.
Over the past months the airline has had to reach agreements with three other unions – representing cabin crew, engineers and other staff, members of the General Workers’ Union – in order to start implementing the new working conditions outlined in the restructuring plan.
Mr Davies refrained from giving details of the agreement, insisting it still had to be approved by the airline’s board of directors and the union’s members.
“There is a protocol to follow and this is why no details have been released,” he added.
Mr Davies, who until Friday was public enemy number one for pilots, said he was “very pleased with the outcome”.
After days of escalating tension between Air Malta and the Airline Pilots Association – pilots had also asked for Mr Davies’s resignation – talks on a new collective agreement were held on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday.
Mr Davies said no mediators were involved.
The talks were between Alpa president Domenic Azzopardi, who had until Friday afternoon described the CEO as “the company’s principal illness”, and Mr Davies.
“The talks were between me and Domenic, three members of my management team and four members of Alpa’s executive. We did get down to talk, and they were exceptionally robust conversations,” Mr Davies said, with a chuckle.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Mr Azzopardi said the very strong declarations made in the run-up to the deal were a result of “lack of communication”.
He said there was goodwill on both sides and pilots had agreed to be more flexible with the airline’s restructuring process, while the company promised to involve pilots.
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