Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, after which the EU countries closed the skies for Russian aviation, domestic airlines began to force pilots to quit. Igor Deldyuzhov , President of the Sheremetyevo Pilot Union (SHPLS), announced this in a letter to the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko. Aviatorshchina drew attention to the letter.
According to Deldyuzhov, after passing the simulators and tests, the instructor submits a report on the appointment of an extraordinary flight test to the pilot, which the pilot does not pass, "because the airline's task is to reduce the number of personnel in any way." After that, the airline alone decides on the disqualification of the pilot, writes Deldyuzhov. The check is carried out twice a year.
Deldyuzhov noted that several dozen pilots from different airlines complained about such coercion to dismiss. The existence of the problem was confirmed to Kommersant by the pilots of the three largest airlines, in particular, Aeroflot. Such a dismissal can only be appealed through the courts. The president of the trade union proposes to involve instructors from the Federal Air Transport Agency in order to make the procedure more transparent, but the airlines do not agree with this. In particular, the Red Wings said that it is the carrier that is responsible for the readiness of pilots and flight safety, and therefore must evaluate them. In Aeroflot, the possible involvement of third-party experts in checks was called "easing the requirements for pilot qualifications."
The reason for the cuts is not only the closing of the sky and the narrowing of the geography of flights, aviation experts, who asked to remain anonymous, tell The Insider.
“First of all, yes, the geography of flights is smaller, the number and frequency of flights are smaller,” the expert says. - Here the airlines have a need to reduce pilots and flight attendants. And if it’s easier to deal with flight attendants, we’ve all seen how airlines get rid of them , then pilots can’t just be fired, but keeping them in excess is expensive. So airlines have come up with a way to suspend and fire pilots with the help of sudden and extraordinary flight inspections.
In addition, the cost of maintaining aircraft and maintaining their airworthiness has increased in terms of the purchase of spare parts, components and assemblies, as well as the maintenance of on-board electronics. The acquisition of all this through third countries, bypassing sanctions, also increases the cost of maintaining aircraft.”
In addition to these reasons, the aircraft fleet continues to be reduced due to “air cannibalism” and the preservation of fit foreign aircraft for a “rainy day,” another aviation expert explains. According to him, in some airlines, for these reasons, already from 30 to 50% of the aircraft fleet is on the ground and is used as spare parts donors. “For the same reason, almost all graduates of pilots and technicians of this year from aviation universities have turned into an army of unemployed,” the expert notes.
According to Kommersant, due to the reduction of the current fleet to 30 aircraft, Pobeda plans to lay off 150-170 pilots "in the foreseeable future". About 250 pilots are considered "surplus" at Aeroflot.