Current issuesHome / Current issues / Social Matters & Employment
Social Matters & Employment
AIRE participates in the Civil Aviation Social Dialogue (CA SD) Project under active support by the European Commission.
Together with other industry associations, AIRE maintains regular discussions in air crew, groundhandling and air traffic management working groups.
AIRE represents the interests of its members on various social and employment issues and informs the airlines on any developments in the field.
As the cornerstone of its views, AIRE stands for de-regulation in the airline sector. Below are some key points:
- De-regulation of the employment market in the airline sector is the natural consequence of the de-regulation of the sector itself.
- This de-regulation was decided by the EU (Commission and Member States) and has given rise to new business models bringing economic added value to the European market. Connectivity (economic and social) has been significantly improved thanks to airlines making flying affordable to many.
- The EU Member States have chosen to retain their national competence on labour, social and fiscal rules. The absence of harmonization across Europe is a political decision and airlines should therefore not be made responsible for closing the gap in harmonizing the employment rules and conditions and should not be wrongly accused of “legislation shopping”.
- Labour law allows the parties the freedom to choose the form of employment and the applicable legislation. This freedom of choice corresponds to demands from both contracting parties for a higher degree of flexibility.
- The type of contractual relationship between airlines and crew is irrelevant to an air carrier safety level. It is the compliance to safety regulations that safeguard safety. It is therefore not appropriate to challenge the freedom to choose the form of contractual relationship in the airline sector any more than in any other sector.
- One should not underestimate the factor of seasonality in airlines’ business models, as well as pilots’ preferences in exercise of their professional activities. Atypical employment is designed to take into considerations airlines’ seasonal, geographical and customer focus, while, on the other hand, giving air crew flexibility depending on their personal circumstances and planning.
- As demonstrated in EASA report on on interdependencies between socio-economic factors and civil aviation safety, “safety records and safety reports available to the Agency do not show any correlation between the forms of contracts used by a given airline and the safety records of that airline” (EASA report, section 3.1.7). It is the compliance to safety regulations that safeguard safety. It is therefore not appropriate to challenge the freedom to choose the form of contractual relationship in the airline sector any more than in any other sector.