Pilots' pay not the problem

Jamaica Air Line Pilots' Association
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bimjim
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Pilots' pay not the problem

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Pilots' pay not the problem
Published: Friday | January 30, 2009

The Editor, Sir:

It is somewhat disappointing that The Gleaner has failed to use the full resources of its journalists before producing the editorial 'Cut pilots' pay, watch minimum-wage hike' (January 29).

In discussions with the pilots of the Jamaica Airline Pilots Associa-tion (JALPA), Air Jamaica's Human Resource Department contended that salaries for pilots represent 2.8 per cent of operating expenses. In Bruce Nobles' briefings to the Air Jamaica board, Cabinet and union delegates, he suggested that total salaries (all employees) represented 14 per cent of total operating expenses. Total revenue for 2008 was US$340m with losses of US$15m per month (US$180m per annum). Armed with these figures, we can see that there is a 35 per cent shortfall in costs versus revenue.

Radical departure

What I would have hoped The Gleaner would have asked, instead, is how on the fourth business plan since Gordon 'Butch' Stewart relinquished control of the airline, does Nobles plan to do things differently? In fact, Nobles believes that increased aircraft utilisation is a fundamental component of his plan.

I would ask minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance, Don Wehby from his days at GraceKennedy, and Christopher Zacca from his days at Air Jamaica to address how easy it is (to increase production by 25 per cent without a major overhaul of one's current way of doing business. What radical departure from the normal tinkering is Nobles going to do?

I would suggest that The Gleaner looks at how the airline is managed and not focus on pilots' salaries.

I am, etc.,

P. HARRISON
Saddle Brook
New Jersey
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