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BALPA warns airlines must put safety before profits

The British Airline Pilots’ Association says safety must not be put on the backburner as airlines race to recover after Covid and return to profitability.

The pilots’ union has spoken up following concerns voiced by its members and in the wake of a number of concerning incidents, including unacceptable comments made by the Wizz Air CEO József Váradi.

BALPA says safety is always number one for its members and it is concerned some airline CEOs and managers may be prioritising profits at the detriment of passenger and staff safety.

BALPA is calling for Mr Váradi to clarify his comments.

BALPA General Secretary Martin Chalk said:

“We know that airlines have just had the worst two financial years on record, but safety must come first no matter what. An airline CEO’s priority is to safely operate flights that make the airline money. If you forget your safety obligations, you can forget the rest.

“No one wants fatigued pilots at the controls – the possible consequences are too devastating.

“That’s why BALPA is working with airlines to ensure the focus remains on safety and that the second to none safety culture that has been fostered over many years, is not eroded.

“I would urge Mr Váradi to swiftly clarify that Wizz Air would fully support any pilot who does the right thing by not flying if they feel fatigued, for the safety of their passengers, crew and aircraft.

“I urge him to be as professional as his pilots in seeking to eradicate fatigue from the flight deck.”