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A review of the year

by Paul Naylor BALPA Executive President

I think you’d be pretty hard pushed to find anyone in the travel or airline industries that would say 2021 has been a great year. COVID-19 has thrown us curve-ball after curve-ball. But at BALPA we have become strong at anticipating that and adapting our play to meet the situation, negotiating the return of pay and conditions, safe return to service for long-term furlough pilots and pushing hard to ensure the voice of the piloting profession is heard by those in power.

Despite the less than impressive summer season and the continuously changing global restrictions, BALPA and our pilot community have stood strong. You can view a review of the year below:

Our strength has been impressive. This summer, our members, from all around the country showed their mettle as they led the rest of the travel industry though the Travel Day Of Action this summer.

The most memorable images of the day were of pilots joining together, standing strong as they demanded action from the Government.

This year I’ve been most proud of how pilots have pulled together to support each other in so many ways. I’ve seen this in the industrial negotiations and in the work of the Redundancy Assistance Group. From negotiating agreements that will protect jobs and prevent compulsory redundancies, to volunteers coming forward to help those who’ve been made redundant to find other work, or to help people stay current… our pilot community has shown its strength, unity and value.

We have also shown our strength in the courts, supporting members and taking important steps in vital legal battles including major wins on pensions and blacklisting.  And our Flight Safety team has continued its top work to ensure safety is a core focus for operations despite the pandemic.

Late in the year we continued to build on BALPA’s strength. Our elections mean we start the new year with a new NEC, a new General Secretary, a new agenda for the year to come. We are a BALPA reinvigorated and ready to continue to fight for pilots and the piloting profession though 2022.

As 2021 draws to a close, there has been some pick up in operations and we have seen the return of pay and terms and conditions in many airlines. We know the year ahead will hold many challenges, but it is good to know BALPA is strong, the pilot community is strong and we will face 2022 together.

Paul Naylor
BALPA Executive President