Following assurances of the authorities concerned to reconsider the decision of salary adjustment, pilots who were reluctant to operate additional flights have returned to operations.
Bangladesh Airlines Pilot Association (BAPA) President Capt Mahbubur Rahman confirmed this after a meeting with the authorities.
“We spoke to the airline’s managing director. Board of directors was also there. Our executive committee has talked with all of them. Everyone there has unanimously agreed that our Overseas Allowance, which is part of our salary, will be raised at next Saturday’s board meeting. We have been assured that it will be coordinated there,” he said.
We have completed the monthly hours of flying, nevertheless we fly more. In other words, we will operate the flights outside the contract from today. We are waiting for Saturday's decision,” he further said.
Earlier, the pilots of the state-owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines refrained from flight operation as per their protest against the authority’s decision to cut their salaries. They have complained that authorities cut their salaries arbitrarily during the coronavirus infection. Instead of overtime, up to 70 percent of the basic salary was deducted during that time.
Although the salaries and allowances of all the officers and employees of the airline were adjusted in July, the salaries of the pilots were not adjusted anymore. As a result they demanded salary adjustment or else expressed reluctance to operate flights.
The pilots refused to fly outside the contract in July last. However, they backed away from the decision on the assurance of the aviation authorities at that time. Biman pilots have stopped operating additional flights from Monday as the authorities have not backed down from their decision to cut salaries.
However, the pilots have operated flights to different countries even when the coronavirus infection was severe. Pilots have brought back Bangladeshis from different countries at the risk of their lives. Even after flying with so much risk, their salary has been cut.
Although an earlier decision was accepted due to the pandemic, it is unfortunate that their salary has not been adjusted yet, said the BAPA president.