Jan 06, 2021

SriLankan pilots plan work-to-rule

The Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) is planning to work-to-rule, 'Sri Lanka Mirror' learns.

The move comes in the wake of the 'SriLankan' airlines administration not giving sufficient priority to providing a proper facility for flight crew members who contract Covid-19 while on duty.

The ALPGSL secretary - Capt. Rehan Gunaratne has issued a letter to the membership on this regard, informing several decisions taken at a meeting on Jan. 04.

"Unfortunately the repeated requests made by the ALPGSL over the past few months to arrange such a facility for our membership have been conveniently ignored. The company has so far failed in providing an amicable and humane solution citing state imposed restrictions. This however, has been overcome by many other organisations who have on their own initiative, already established dedicated private facilities to house their employees who test positive. We find it hard to accept that Sri Lankan Airlines, being a state owned national carrier, is unable to make similar or better arrangements, and continues to give excuses to avoid providing the same," the letter notes. 

The ALPGSL letter further states that they have also decided to initiate the following actions as a preemptive measure until the company provides a solution acceptable to the ALPGSL.

1. Stop flying on rostered days off2. No mutual changes requested or accepted during this period.3. Don't accept flights outside your rostered standby duty time.4. Don't accept alternate duties even on a duty day.

The full letter is shown below. 

This decision is being taken in a wake where airports are being opened on the 21st and it is said this could lead to a shortage of pilots.

The situation has become further incensed after the CEO of SriLankan airlines - Vipula Gunatillake has responded to the ALPGSL.

The letter has noted that some SriLankan employees 'have got exposed to the virus as it's now widespread in our society.'

The letter of the SriLankan CEO is shown below.

4 SriLankan pilots infected

Meanwhile, four pilots, including two Captains and two First Officers (FOs) have been diagnosed with Covid-19 while on duty.

They have been referred to the Kovid-19 Patients' Treatment Center in Iranavila after their diagnosis, which had minimal facilities, much to their dismay.

However, they were relocated upon the intervention of the ALPGSL and other pilots.