MIAMI — Last month’s Aeromexico Embraer E190 crash in Durango has led to the suspension of some benefits for the airline’s pilots, unbinding a pilot strike that is set to happen during the first week of October in protest of the removal of some privileges.
Aeroméxico informed that it had fired Carlos Galván, Daniel Dardon and José Ramón Vázquez from their Flight Crew duties. These were the three pilots of flight AM2431 flight that crashed on July 31.
The airline claims that these pilots violated the protocols, manuals, and policies established by the airline.
The Mexican Civil Aviation Agency also said that although the weather was the main factor in the Embraer E190’s incident, a pilot in training—who was not authorized by the company to be in command of the aircraft—was sitting as copilot during takeoff.
As a result, the carrier announced the removal to a provision that lets pilots fly in the flight deck for free.
The airline’s CEO, Andres Conesa, was very vocal about the incident, claiming that “this type of behavior is unacceptable and we will not tolerate for any reason the conduct of these people jeopardize the trust that more than 20 million customers around the world provide and support our 16 thousand families, for this reason these three pilots have already been separated from the company.”
However, the Mexican Trade Union Association of Pilots (ASPA) announced that it will defend the labor rights of the three pilots dismissed by
“It is an unorthodox decision, a decision that surprises us because they did not follow the channels set by the Federal Labor Law,” said ASPA in a public statement.
“ASPA has to defend the pilots because two are disabled and the company already fired them, and in doing so, it takes away all their benefits.”
ASPA’s Secretary of Press and Publicity, Mauricio Aguilera, explained that the termination of the contract was derived from a preliminary report of an investigation that has not yet culminated.
“Aeromexico decided unilaterally to suspend the benefit of Crew Flying in Cabin, among other violations of the collective contract, affecting a critical clause for around 2,400 pilots,” ASPA said.
Aeromexico responded to the claim by saying no violations in contracts were taking place as pilots could still fly in passenger seats outside of the cabin.
“They, like the rest of eligible crew, continue using the aforementioned benefit,” Aeromexico said in a statement.
The Mexican airline will now find themselves in a difficult position, especially as 2,400 pilots is a large amount that could cause significant disruptions in the airline’s network.
The affected passengers of flight AM2431 have sued the airline. “Everyone on this flight has the right to know exactly what caused the crash. A plane simply does not fall from the sky because it’s raining a lot,” said Thomas A. Demetrio, co-founder of the Corboy & Demetrio law office.
It will be interesting to see what deals will be made between Aeromexico and ASPA and whether any level of solution can be made quickly to prevent the strike.