Airline pilots on temporary, low-paid contracts flying for easyJet have today said they find the Chief Executive’s reported £2m in pay and bonuses difficult to swallow.  Carolyn McCall, the airline’s CEO is reported to have received this amount in shares and bonuses for having achieved record profits at the airline, but the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has said that the carrier’s success has been built on the use of cheap contract labour.

Speaking on behalf of easyJet pilots, Jim McAuslan, BALPA’s General Secretary said, ‘Success should be rewarded, and we are always pleased to see British airline businesses do well and succeed.  Carolyn deserves credit for turning easyJet around and achieving record profits this year.

‘But such a huge bonus is difficult for many easyJet pilots to swallow when many of them are having to struggle on just a few hundred pounds a month after training loan payments, and others are being laid off for the winter.

‘easyJet’s record profits are built on the extensive use of contract pilots, not employed by easyJet, but contracted on lower pay and worse terms and conditions than easyJet-employed pilots.  These are pilots who have paid nearly £100,000 in training and are desperate for hours in the cockpit and for the experience of flying.  But exploiting these young, enthusiastic pilots is no way to run an airline, and it needs to stop.

‘BALPA will continue to work with easyJet management to ensure this practice of using contract pilots comes to an end so that passengers can be sure if it’s an easyJet plane, it’s flown by an easyJet pilot.’

Further info/interviews call Richard Toomer 07889 087 943 or email richardtoomer@balpa.org