• Thu. Aug 4th, 2022

Emirates pilot says airline industry has ‘quite toxic culture’ and excessive workloads which has led to safety concerns

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Jul 29, 2022
  • An Emirates pilot told CNBC the profession has a toxic culture and excessive workloads.
  • “All of this contributes to potentially reducing the margin of safety,” the pilot said.

An Emirates pilot told CNBC that heavy workloads and toxic cultures lead to safety concerns.

Speaking anonymously, an Emirates pilot told the outlet that many pilots suffer from “an inordinate amount of work” and “a pretty toxic culture”.

They told CNBC that these issues could lead to “a reduced margin of safety,” which is “a big concern.”

The pilot added that the aviation industry was suffering from a “toxic soup” of poor salaries and less attractive contracts for pilots.

“Airports and airlines share the same level of responsibility. It’s been a race to the bottom for years,” they said. “They’re only going to try to pay as little as they can get away with paying.”

An Emirates spokesperson told Insider: “We will never compromise on safety at Emirates, and there are strict regulatory requirements for rest and flight hours that we adhere to for our operating crew.”

The representative said the airline was committed “to ensuring high levels of safety performance across all of our operations”.

Several pilots working for major airlines have spoken to CNBC anonymously about fatigue resulting from overwork, airlines’ attempts to cut operating costs and toxic work cultures.

All pilots interviewed by CNBC said the issue of pilot fatigue is often overlooked by airlines.

An EasyJet pilot interviewed by the media said the maximum legal limit on working hours, which is 900 hours a year, was seen as a target rather than a limit.

“It wasn’t seen as the absolute maximum, it was like the goal of trying to make everyone’s workload as efficient as possible,” the EasyJet pilot said.

An EasyJet spokesperson told Insider: “EasyJet pilots and crew are working within the limits of current regulations and industry agreements and the working hours of our pilots and crew. crew has not changed.”

Many airlines are suffering from a shortage of pilots, contributing to a summer of travel disruption.

Last month, Wizz Air CEO József Váradi came under fire for appearing to suggest pilots fly while fatigued, a major safety concern. Váradi said pilots should “go the extra mile” to help stabilize flight schedules, Insider reported.