Avianca To Bring In Foreign Pilots As Strike Continues
The Civil Aviation Authority of Colombia (Aerocivil) has approved Avianca to bring in pilots from other countries on a temporary basis to fly aircraft grounded by striking staff pilots.
The Aerocivil approval is for a maximum of three months and Avianca said it will start bringing in pilots immediately. Up to now, the airline has had to wet lease aircraft from other airlines to fill some of the gaps in its schedule.
Avianca pilots represented by the Colombian Association of Civil Aviators (ACDAC) have been on strike since September 20, causing the cancellation of many flights. ACDAC represents just over half of Avianca pilots.
Talks between the airline and the union broke down at the end of September after Avianca withdrew a pay offer. Avianca considers the strike to be illegal as the airline provides an essential public service, and has sought a ruling from a Colombian court.
The airline and the Avianca Aviators Organisation union, representing just under half of pilots, have already reached a pay agreement.