Cockpit
Tom Keighley

Young pilots take home less than McDonalds employees

Young pilots will take home less than a McDonalds employee, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) say, following easyJet’s new pilot contracts announcement.

EasyJet’s reshaping of its career structure includes an “entrant contract” for experienced first officers which the company says will in turn lead to a long-term career, and the opportunity to become a captain.

The Cadet Scheme will offer between £40k - £50k depending on flying hours, while Captains will receive a reward package of between £114k - £146k.

BALPA say easyJet has been “dragged kicking and screaming into offering a permanent contract” to its growing casual pilot workforce.

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of BALPA, said: “Despite the spin in easyJet’s announcement, this “take-it-or-leave-it” contract is being denounced by pilots across easyJet.

“BALPA has been inundated with concerned young pilots, desperate for a job and experience, who will still have to put up with two years on a zero hours contract and uncertain lifestyle. And, because of their £100k loan repayments, these pilots will take home less than a McDonalds employee.

“And this from a company that is knocking on the door of the FTSE 100 and is hugely successful with a management team rewarded as such.

“Pilots – and we believe the travelling public – still want to know if a pilot is good enough to fly for easyJet, why is that pilot not good enough to be on a permanent and reasonable contract?”

There are currently over 1850 pilots permanently employed by easyJet with an additional 450 contracted through CTC and Parc.

Once pilots have flown for over 1,250 hours with the airline, they become permanent employees at first officer rank. After a further two years and 2,500 hours, pilots then become a senior first officer.

easyJet’s Head of Flight Operations, Captain Brian Tyrrell, said: “I’m really pleased that easyJet is able to offer 330 new permanent positions for pilots. They will be joining easyJet at a good time and have the prospect of a long and successful career at easyJet.

“Pilots joining easyJet will be flying on a modern fleet of aircraft, with industry leading punctuality, high quality training and leading positions at 11 airports across the UK.

“We offer a clear career path for pilots with the potential to move from First Officer to Captain more quickly than at other airlines.”

“The skills and professionalism of our pilots is one of easyJet’s key strengths and we want to work with them and their representatives to ensure the airline’s continued success.”

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