Flights Grounded and Passengers Stranded When Pilots Quit

Posted Aug 2nd 2010 12:37 PMUpdated Aug 2nd 2010 08:52 PM

TEXT SIZE:

AAA
Financially struggling Philippine Airlines (PAL) had to cancel flights when about a dozen A320 pilots suddenly quit for better jobs abroad, apparently without any warning to the carrier.

Passengers on at least five flights were stranded over the weekend in Manila. The flights included one to Hong Kong and others to domestic locations, The Associated Press reports.

PAL spokesman Jonathan Gesmundo went on local TV and radio stations saying the cancellations were caused by the sudden departure of the pilots for better-paying jobs overseas, AP reports.

Gesmundo said this was not an organized group action. The carrier, he added, was adjusting its schedule and looking at bringing in other aircraft to accommodate the stranded passengers.

Meanwhile, PAL officials were called to the presidential palace for meetings with government officials to figure out how to stop the pilot exodus.

According to the Philippine Star, the country's Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus said there could be "serious consequences on the country's economy" if issues with the flag carrier are not resolved quickly.

"It will affect trade, it will affect tourism and ultimately, it will affect our reputation," de Jesus said.

Photo, georgeparilla, flickr
Filed Under: News

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

54 Comments

Filter by:
rodelv

this is what happen when the owner of the company doesn't want to pay what people deserve, pilots and attendants as well. They are the lowest paid people in the industry. FYI Mr. TAN

August 04 2010 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
T Lee

Flying home on Friday night St Louis to Bloomington, Small Turbo Props are used, about a 45 minute flight gate to gate.
One Friday evening we had been sitting on tarmac for about 45 minutes, suddenly the engines wound down and our women Captain through back curtain, marched to rear of plane with a look only a married man knows about and fear, we all looked down at our hands and tried not to draw attention to ourselves. She opened rear hatch be herself , threw down the steps, we watched including pale, young co pilot with big wide eyes as she started off to control tower leaving us there. After 30 minutes we see the pilot marching back to plane where she closed rear hatch by her self and walked to cockpit once again there was absolute silence and we looked at our hands in our lap, we knew the look, I had been married for 25 years, She kept mumbling that they would not let her quit. Off we went at high rate and steep climb we landed in Bloomington 24 minutes later. My wife asked how was my trip, how could I answer, I sat looking at my hands. Although a bit of tongue in cheek, a true story and thankfully never had that pilot again.

August 03 2010 at 6:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason

You are right that they left out a lot of details...some of which are below.

The article failed to mention that these pilots had employment contacts with the airline stating that they would work for a set number of years, as PAL paid for their flight training. They were also required to give a certain number of months notice before leaving so that their replacements could be trained. So, the airline has threatened legal action against these pilots if they don't return to work within a week.

As for 12 pilots suddenly quitting, PAL has about 500 pilots on their payroll. With the crunch of flight schedules nowadays, losing 12 of those 500 does cause a lot of cancelled flights as they try to find other pilots to take their place. I'm not sure how many others out of those 500 were qual'd with the A320, however.

August 03 2010 at 6:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JRA

Probably coming to America so another dozen people can be laid off for cheaper labor. Thanks Clinton and Bush....

August 03 2010 at 5:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gary

Bastards probably had their pockets FILLED with bags of peanuts as they walked out too!!!

August 03 2010 at 4:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clark

By 2030 the United states of america will be like mexico,

August 03 2010 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bpante

At least they were all good enough to get another job. Them loosers at Spirit Airlines couldn't get hired anywhere. Even Philippine Airlines didn't want them.

August 03 2010 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wan

At least they were all good enough to get another job. Them loosers at Spirit Airlines couldn't get hired anywhere. Even Philippine Airlines didn't want them.

August 03 2010 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tinker Bell

I feel sorry for the passengers left on the plane! It "used" to be fun to fly, now it's just a royal pain in the ass.

August 03 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tinker Bell's comment
Rooftop Voter

I hear that!!!!

August 03 2010 at 6:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BD

"...May I have your attention please. This is your Captain speaking. On behalf of Philippine Airlines, we would like to thank you for flying with us today. Unfortunately, my co-pilot and I have received a better job offer overseas, so we are leaving you here stranded in Manila...I hope someone onboard knows how to fly an Airbus A320, otherwise you will all be spending a long, hot, tired wait here on the ground. Sorry for this inconvenience, and thank you again for flying Philippine Airlines...you fools!"

August 03 2010 at 12:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't Miss

Fotosearch

Take in the sights of autumn across the country.

Hit The Road
Corbis

Tales of learning to expect the unexpected.

Change Your View
Getty Images

Unexpected encounters and wildlife tours.

Cows, Sharks, Monkeys & More

Travel Careers

amtrak train conductor

See the world and interact with people from different cultures.

flight attendant plane interior

It's as crazy as you think.