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AUA flights cancelled due to ill pilots

Three Austrian Airlines (AUA) flights had to be cancelled at the weekend because several pilots became ill. The company wants to take on more pilots in the first half of 2013, which will apparently relax the situation.

Two flights to Frankfurt and a flight to Beijing had to be cancelled at the weekend. According to the AUA, there were crews that replaced the ill pilots.
Short-term sick leaves would sometimes cause shortages.

In the following flights to Frankfurt, a Boeing 777 was used, which is double as big as the planned A 320. All passengers could thus be taken to Frankfurt, while passengers to Beijing were rebooked.

Karl Minhard, head of the AUA staff association said that illness is not a reason for canceling flights: "We have been facing problems for months to find staff for flights. There has been a shortage of staff since the transfer of agreements", Mr Minhard said in a Radio Vienna interview.

The transfer from the AUA collective agreement to the cheaper agreement of its regional subsidiary Tyrolean was completed on 1 July 2012. 117 pilots and 220 flight attendants did not accept the transfer and handed in their notice.

The AUA have been re-training staff and planning to take on ten new pilots in the first half of 2013. The company has already employed 90 new flight attendants.

However, the AUA announced the redundancy of 150 employees from the commercial-technical department just before Christmas.

According to the staff association, the wages in the management were, however, increased by more than 10 percent.  The staff decided in an employee meeting to consider further actions of protest.

Vienna Times

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