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European Parliament: question on COVID-19’s impact on aircrew employment

Presented by about twenty deputies (S&D)

"Parliamentary questions    

19 May 2020    

E-003088/2020

Question for written answerto the Commission Rule 138

Petar Vitanov (S&D), Johan Danielsson (S&D), Ismail Ertug (S&D), Andris Ameriks (S&D), Isabel García Muñoz (S&D), Giuseppe Ferrandino (S&D), Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D), Rovana Plumb (S&D), Vera Tax (S&D), István Ujhelyi (S&D), Sara Cerdas (S&D), Josianne Cutajar (S&D), César Luena (S&D), Nora Mebarek (S&D), Alessandra Moretti (S&D), Inma Rodríguez-Piñero (S&D), Patrizia Toia (S&D), Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D), Marianne Vind (S&D) 

Subject: COVID-19’s impact on aircrew employment

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, air transport has been confronted with unprecedented challenges. The most recent EUROCONTROL figures show that traffic levels are down by 85 % compared to the previous year. Some aircrew members have agreed to much lower salaries and unpaid leave in order to keep their jobs, while many have lost their employment and their livelihood.

The current emergency is exacerbating the problems identified by the Commission. Its study shows that atypical and precarious forms of aircrew employment are spreading and working conditions are deteriorating, that nearly 1 in 5 pilots is on a precarious contract (working through a temporary broker agency or as allegedly self-employed) and that 93% of self-employment among pilots is bogus. These aircrew members currently do not have access to furlough schemes or to other public financial support, as they are not direct employees of the airline. In spite of the many conclusions identified by the study, one year on, the Commission has not yet come up with a concrete proposal to tackle these major social problems.

The impact of the crisis on aircrew will have long lasting effects, as forecasts have established that traffic will not reach previous levels any time soon. President von der Leyen has committed to leaving no one behind in this crisis. How does the Commission intend to give concrete support to the thousands of pilots and cabin crew members who are currently left with no income and social protection as a direct consequence of atypical set-ups through broker agencies and bogus self-employment?

EU funds were established to help companies overcome the crisis. Will the Commission urge Member States to allocate resources to airlines that manage the crisis in a socially responsible manner and strive to keep jobs?

Last updated: 8 June 2020". 

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