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Philippine Airlines (PAL) Runs Out of Pilots
« on: August 02, 2010, 09:14:21 AM »
By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The sudden exodus of pilots lured to higher-paying foreign carriers forced Philippines Airlines to cancel several domestic and international flights Saturday morning.

PAL said close to a dozen pilots assigned to 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft used on domestic and international routes had resigned in the last two weeks.

“PAL regrets the decision of some of its pilots to accept job offers abroad, causing the disruption of PAL's flight schedules due to inadequate flight deck crew to fly the Airbus A320 airplanes,” the company said in a press statement.

“The indiscriminate resignation of the A320 pilots for flying jobs whose salaries PAL is unable to match, is in violation of their contracts with PAL as well as with pertinent government regulations that require resigning pilots to give PAL six months to train their replacements,” it added.

Spokesman Jonathan Gesmundo said the resignations were not an organized move although they were of the same nature and were only days apart.

At least five flights from Manila to Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Hong Kong were cancelled on Saturday.

Gesmundo said the pilots who left PAL were mostly new hires. “The A320 is the first jet a pilot flies after graduating from aviation school,” he said.

As a result, he said, most of these pilots still owe the company for the flight training tuition that PAL subsidized. Each pilot owes as much as P2 million, Gesmundo said, adding that all of the pilots said they would be able to repay what they owe PAL, thanks to the high salaries they will be getting.

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