Press Releases

Cape Town, South Africa
4 November 2011

The Associations of Star Alliance Pilots ("ASAP") today concluded their semi-annual Executive Board meeting and Conference here in Cape Town. The Star Alliance is an airline marketing consortium currently consisting of twenty-seven member carriers. ASAP consists of the leadership of the pilot unions and associations at those carriers, which collectively represent in excess of 45,000 pilots. Over forty delegates were in attendance at the conference. The meeting was hosted by SAAPA, the South African Airways Pilots’ Association which represents the pilots of South African Airways.

A cause of concern identified by all delegates is the massive growth of the Middle East carriers and the apparent developing trend for Middle East carriers to express interest in investing in established European airlines. A further cause of concern expressed at the meeting was that of air safety in Africa. The continued increase in air traffic over Africa is likely to highlight deficiencies in African air space.

The delegates were thoroughly briefed on the plans of the Portuguese Government to privatise TAP (Air Portugal). The ASAP Board affirmed its support for the pilots of TAP in their efforts to ensure that TAP management honour and comply with the terms of their collective bargaining agreement, and respect the contributions that pilots make to the success of any airline.

The delegates in session unanimously expressed their outrage at the deplorable actions of the Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce’s October 29th announcement that the airline would lock out engineers, baggage handlers and pilots on October 31st. This direct attack on the airline’s employees in response to their efforts to negotiate contractual provisions that would prevent the airline from outsourcing their jobs, is against the interests of thousands of Australians who benefit from gainful direct employment in that nation’s aviation industry.

Captain René de Groot, the Deputy President of the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), was a guest speaker at the meeting and addressed delegates regarding recent developments in pilot training and IFALPA’s involvement in the International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (ICATEE).

During the course of the meeting the delegates received news of an emergency landing of a LOT (Poland) aircraft in Warsaw. The emergency landing resulted from a hydraulic system failure that prevented the deployment of the landing gear. There were no injuries and minimal aircraft damage. The delegates applauded the remarkable skill and professionalism of the pilots who landed the aircraft. The pilots of the Star Alliance reaffirmed their commitment to upholding excellence within the piloting profession.

The next Executive Board meeting of ASAP will take place in Paris next May, just prior to the Global Pilots’ Symposium.

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