The Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition (OCCC) voiced its strong support for the Air Line Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) – represented pilots of SriLankan Airlines in their efforts to restore the pay and working conditions from their COVID-19 pandemic-driven lockdown levels so that the airline can attract and retain the pilots needed to adequately staff their airline.

“It is unfortunate that SriLankan Airlines management continues to believe they can provide reliable service when they have lost a significant number of pilots to other carriers in the last year alone and have your operation succeed” said Capt. John Sluys, Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition Chair.

The recent loss of pilots represents nearly 20% of the work force. “The Air Line Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka are dedicated to the success of their airline,” Capt. Sluys said. “These pilots made great sacrifices to get their airline through the difficult times associated with the global pandemic. Now it’s time for the management of SriLankan Airlines to do the right thing by restoring and improving the pay and working conditions for their pilots.

Without this action, it will be very difficult for SriLankan Airlines to profitably grow while attracting and retaining the professional pilots they so desperately need.” Capt. Sluys emphasized that management has restored pay or provided bonuses to all other employee groups except the pilots and is forecasting a profit of $50 Million for 2023. This flawed strategy will cause even more SriLankan Airlines pilots to leave for other employers who offer superior compensation and benefits.

“The experience levels of the pilots seeking employment elsewhere are substantial with many years of service and cannot be replaced overnight by new hire cadet pilots. It’s time for the management of SriLankan Airlines to act responsibly for their employees and their customers. The pilots of OCCC-represented airlines stand with and are ready to support our colleagues at SriLankan Airlines in any way needed,” he said.