European Pilot Unions Join Forces in EASYJET

Some of Europe's largest pilot unions – members of the European Cockpit Association (ECA)1 – have combined forces to represent easyJet pilots based in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. This will allow easyJet pilots in different countries to organise across borders, reacting to the growing trend of individual airlines to employ and base pilots in several countries with different, often incompatible national labour laws. As easyJet extends its network, so the Associations will provide a seamless transnational service to pilots, improving the industrial and legal support enjoyed by individual members.

Convening at the ECA Brussels Conference, on 28 June, the British pilots' association BALPA, the German flight deck union VC, the French pilots' organisation SNPL, the Italian and Swiss associations ANPAC and Swiss-ALPA, have signed a wide-ranging trans-national airline Agreement and created the easyJet European Pilot Group.

In doing so, they built on guidelines for the transnational organisation of pilots currently being developed by the European Cockpit Association.

This Agreement

  • allows the pilots' associations involved to pool their resources and provide enhanced professional support to easyJet flight crew in the countries concerned.
  • covers all the support an easyJet pilot will need:
    • for collective representation BALPA will lead on behalf of all the members.
    • for personal representation the association most appropriate in a particular situation will provide the support. For example a French pilot flying out of Berlin will get the support of German pilot union VC on a matter of German law; likewise a German flying for easyJet out of Luton will get BALPA support

ECA President, Capt. Martin Chalk, stressed: "This agreement is an example of how the ECA Member Associations will facilitate effective representation of pilots working for a Trans National Airline. It is a concrete response to the threat of employers seeking to split the pilot voice and play one group of pilots off against another."

See Press Release (PDF)