EasyJet shrugs off pilot claims ahead of AGM

Marion Dakers

EASYJET yesterday insisted that it pays its pilots properly, after the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) claimed that “penny pinching management” were short-changing staff.

In an open letter to EasyJet chairman Sir Mike Rake ahead of this Thursday’s shareholder meeting, Balpa claimed that the firm’s plan to hire 330 new permanent pilots is a move to put casual staff onto low-paid contracts.

“Balpa wants to get behind the spin to unearth the way these young pilots are being exploited,” said general secretary Jim McAuslan, adding that the union will poll employees about the possibility of industrial action.

EasyJet said its cadet scheme pilots can earn a total of £40,000 to £50,000 a year. “By any aviation industry standard this is a good career path with fair and reasonable rewards,” the firm said. EasyJet will also face questions from founder and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou at its annual general meeting on Thursday.