Russia Today published a piece today claiming that many Emirates pilots have fatigue due to not enough rest time between flights and that the airline discourages pilots reporting sick or tired.
The pilot on the FlyDubai flight that crashed week ago had been working for 11 days with only one day rest day in between.
You can access the RT piece here of which below is an excerpt:
One former Emirates pilot told RT that the number one issue to investigate is the airline’s problem with fatigue, as seven pilots at Emirates are forced to do the same amount of work as 10 or 11 pilots at any European airline.
Another side of the alleged abuse of pilots by Emirates is the manipulation of schedules, which extends the working day by failing to count the time pilots spend at the airport preparing for flights prior to the so-called “check-in.”
One of the alleged issues accompanying over-exhaustion is that reporting it is looked down upon and largely avoided, a former Emirates pilot revealed, claiming that the company often uses “intimidation” techniques to prevent this.
The pilot currently employed by Emirates explained that the aviation authority is controlled by the same people who are in charge of the airline. Specifically, he pointed out that the GCAA is chaired by the same person who is the CEO of Emirates Airline & Group – Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.
The pilot leaked the flight log of flight FZ981’s co-captain, Alejandro Cruz Alava, which showed that he had worked 11 days with only one off prior to the crash. He pointed out that Alava had been transferred from daytime to nighttime flights without being given enough time to adjust his sleep pattern.
It is widely known fact that foreign employees are not treated well in the Middle Eastern Countries and that there is zero employee protection. Pilots should be happy that they are not thrown into jail for reporting fatigue.
We all know that it can take sometimes quite a while to recover from flying several time zones. You are tired in wrong times and just generally feel fatigued. What usually help is sleep.
Let’s hope that the situation with Emirates is not as bad as this RT piece makes sound.