Bloomberg News

EasyJet Pilots Say ‘Brave’ CEO Brokered Deal on Pay, Schedules

June 10, 2011

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- EasyJet Plc pilots voted to accept a pay deal and revised working roster following the intervention of Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall to tackle an issue that caused punctuality to plummet last year, their union said.

Some 85 percent of pilots who responded agreed to accept a deal granting a 4 percent increase in their basic salaries and establishing an independent forum for talks on rosters and scheduling, British Airline Pilots Association said today.

“The relationship between EasyJet and its pilots has not been a good one over recent years,” Balpa General Secretary Jim McAuslan said in a statement. “But the CEO’s intervention that recognized the poor state of relations with this professional staff group and promised a new, refreshed, constructive partnership was game-changing and brave on her part.”

McCall, CEO since July, wrote to all of EasyJet’s pilots last month pledging to repair relations with management. Crew shortages at Europe’s second-biggest discount airline caused flight delays to surge last summer and drew a rebuke from Stelios Haji-Ioannou, its founder and largest shareholder.

EasyJet stock rose as much as 1 percent to 355.2 pence, the biggest intraday gain this week, and traded at 352.8 pence as of 3:53 p.m. in London, paring the decline this year to 20 percent and giving a market value of 1.52 billion pounds ($2.5 billion).

The pilot deal also includes a 5 percent rise in so-called sector pay, together with an accord to work under an independent chairman “to ensure a better work-life balance for pilots, and a robust, workable schedule for the company,” Balpa said.

Luton, England-based EasyJet didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

--Editor: Chris Jasper.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Rothwell in London at srothwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net


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