Skies Not So Bright for China Pilots
From Los Angeles Times:
If American travelers thought they had it bad these days, consider what happened to passengers on 18 China Eastern flights recently.
The planes took off from Kunming airport in southern China. Some turned around in midair. Others reached their destinations; but without letting passengers off, the jets flew back to Kunming. The weather wasn’t an issue, nor was mechanical trouble, investigators said. Rather, it was a collective act of defiance by pilots unhappy about their pay, grueling schedules and lack of rest as well as lifetime contracts that they can break only by paying a fortune.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration fined the carrier about $215,000 and took away some of its domestic routes. But the agency didn’t address the underlying problem: an airline industry struggling to meet booming travel demand with a shortage of pilots and outdated rules and management.