Aviation safety threatened by ‘race to the bottom’ in crew contracts

  • February 12, 2015

A report by researchers at the University of Ghent into current labour practices in the European aviation industry warns that safety is being compromised by a ‘race to the bottom’ in employment practices.

The researchers say pilots, particularly those entering the labour market, are increasingly hired on insecure ‘zero hours’ contracts, are working longer hours in order to pay off large debts accrued during training, and are disinclined to call in sick, report fatigue or even report safety concerns.

A patchwork of national rules on standby and rest times is also leading to airlines ‘shopping around’ for the cheapest home base, to the detriment of employee conditions according to the report.

See report and Bloomberg news coverage