Middle East

“Overwork and Fatigue” Qatar Airways pilots complain about long working hours-Doha News

A flag carrier spokesman told Doha News that he is working on “implementing the strictest fatigue risk management program.”

Some Qatar Airways pilots have recently reported fatigue due to long working hours and staff shortages. Reuters. The pilot said airline management also dismissed the complaint of fatigue and expressed concern that the pilot described it as deteriorating mental and physical health.

“This is clearly a major health and safety issue for the pilots themselves, and for the people they fly,” Isobel Archer of the Business and Human Rights Resource Center told the news agency.

Concerns arose following staff reductions caused by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic outbreak. This has had a major impact on the global aviation industry.

At that time, many aircraft were landing due to a global travel ban, allowing Qatar Airways to maintain a significant amount of operations while reducing staff. 15% to 20%.. In 2021, an additional 27% reduction was made.

As a result, pilots are reported to have been exposed to longer working hours.

“I fell asleep during the descent with 400 passengers,” Eric told Reuters, the pseudonym of someone working at Qatar Airways.

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“You can’t do anything. Your body is just screaming for rest. You feel pain inside your chest and you can’t keep your eyes open,” he added.

“Eric” said his manager also refused to give him and six other crew members adequate rest time. Staff can submit reports of fatigue, but “Eric” refrained from doing so for fear of possible retaliation.

“We’re overworked and tired, but we didn’t want to be in the limelight, so we didn’t fill out a fatigue report,” Eric said.

Another chief officer claimed that he had submitted eight fatigue reports, but refused because he was able to rest 24 hours in Doha after a 23-hour appointment with only one approved request. it was done. Turnaround flight to East Asia.

Qatar Airways spokesman said Doha News On Sunday, the airline said it “has a great deal of importance on health and well-being” for all employees, especially those in the flight crew community.

“Continuous and production with employees so that flight crew team breaks and rostering needs are tightly balanced with airline operational requirements, especially given the unique challenges facing the global commercial aviation sector. We are doing something like that, “said the spokesman.

Reuters quoted a copy of the airline’s operation manual, stating that crew members are considered “inactive” during long-distance flights, even while waiting or backing up, and the guidelines state that “breaks in flight It does not count as flight time. ” ..

However, Qatar Airways officials also said the company has recently strengthened its terms of service for “working hours and flight positioning during block hours” and is working on “implementing the strictest fatigue risk management program.” I did.

“Our flight crew team is fully supported by a variety of mental health and well-being support services and processes throughout the airline employment process, and a significant number of former flight crews are on Qatar Airways. I’m happy to be back at. As we increase hiring, ”explained the spokesman.

Officials further emphasized that Qatar Airways complies with the flight time limit scheme approved by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA).

Qatar Airways 2020 Fatigue Survey Group safety room It was found that more than 90% of pilots did not submit a fatigue report during 2019. Less than half of the respondents were “redundant concerns” and “we were confident in submitting a safety report.”

An additional 60% of pilots said fatigue and stress levels affect sleep.

At the regional level, 2018 study More than two-thirds of commercial pilots in the Gulf were found to be “severe fatigue” in terms of drowsiness, malaise, and depression.

Beyond the Gulf, fatigue is common to pilots of commercial airlines around the world, so such companies According to the company, it operates a fatigue risk management (FRM) system to protect its employees. Number of studies..

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