This airline wants you – personnel poaching

The luring away of the management and flightcrew of another carrier is not a new phenomenon for the airline industry, but it has been hurting the smaller, weaker airlines particularly hard over the past couple of years. And at the high end of the cycle, where airlines in areas like the Middle East, China and India are adding aircraft faster than pilots can be trained to fly them, aircrew and other qualified staff have been leaving for better offers in larger numbers than ever.

The issue took centre stage at the 2006 IATA Annual General Meeting, when some of the “little guys” from Africa joined forces to criticise publicly the bigger players. The topic was supposed to have been IATA’s move to make certification under its operational safety audit programme (IOSA) a qualification for membership. But it quickly turned to one of personnel poaching – a subject often kept behind closed doors.

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