Pilots quit Philippine Airlines for higher-paying jobs

July 31st, 2010 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, July 31 (DPA) The Philippines’ flag carrier Saturday cancelled about a dozen domestic and international flights after several pilots resigned for higher-paying jobs with foreign airlines.
Dozens of flights were also delayed for hours due to the lack of pilots, according to Philippine Airlines (PAL).

PAL spokesman Jonathan Gesmundo said the problem affected flights using Airbus A320 planes, which account for 16 of the airline’s 39 operating aircraft.

“Unfortunately, we have had recent indiscriminate resignations of A320 pilots and we are now faced with inadequate flight deck crew to man A320 aircraft,” Gesmundo said.

He said the pilots resigned after they were offered better-paying jobs by foreign airlines, which PAL could not match.

Gesmundo said the pilots should have given PAL six months to train their replacements.

“PAL will soon be filing appropriate charges against those pilots who chose not to report for work immediately after submitting their resignation letters,” he said.

“Most of the pilots still owe PAL the cost of their aviation school training, which run into millions of pesos per pilot,” he added.

Gesmundo said PAL may have to ground its A320s as it would take the airline several months to train new pilots.

He said the carrier was now adjusting its schedules by merging flights or using bigger aircraft to accommodate passengers affected by the cancellations.

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