Air Malta pilot given €573,000 golden handshake

An Air Malta pilot who opted for the early retirement scheme offered to the airline’s employees last year, was granted €4,777 a month up to 2023.

The pilot will be paid a monthly sum up to his retirement age in 2023.  Over a span of 10 years, starting from 2013, this adds up to a grand total of €573,240.

Tourism minister Karmenu Vella said that in total, 12 pilots opted for the early retirement scheme, which was offered to the airline’s employees as part of its restructuring program.

The payments issued to these 12 pilots sums up to around €4.3 million. In his reply to a Parliamentary question, Vella explained that eight pilots received €2,730,698, while another three pilots are in the process of taking the retirement scheme by the end of the year.

These three pilots will be receiving around €988,076, the minister said.

In 2012, Air Malta posted a loss of €30 million, after having received the European Commission’s green light for a restructuring plan in which the airline must become profitable after receiving €130 million in state aid.

Air Malta’s net loss for the financial year ended March 2013 is expected to total €28 million, however up to €10 million is attributable to one-time restructuring costs, such as termination payments to its employees.

The global figure includes operational costs of around €15 million as well as non-operational costs, including the restructuring costs.

The latter was part of the restructuring agreement reached last year with the European Commission, which was harshly criticised by the pilots’ union, ALPA.

In October 2012, following protracted negotiations between the airline and the pilots, a collective agreement was signed, which saw the pilots receive a €4.5 million raise.

The collective agreement for 2012-2015 will see pilots get a raise of over 3% every year, cost-of-living allowance increase, for a total of €17,000 annually.

The revised scale system will see pilots and first officers’ salaries capped at €90,800 for pilots and €58,200 for first officers. The capped salaries is hoped to produce a natural wastage of older and higher-earning pilots taking early retirement, and bring down the staff complement of 130 pilots.

Source:  MaltaToday News


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