The management of SriLankan Airlines is accused of failing to recruit pilots to fill the vacancies for pilots and pushing the existing staff to overwork to substitute the work.
Although the airline is in a dire need for 275-300 pilots there are only 200 pilots working at present and the entire workload has to be shared amongst them which has been strenuous over the years. Although the situation is as such, it is learnt that many have been recruited for other posts through alleged political influence although they do not have any specified jobs to be carried out.
Hence it is a 13 month year for the SriLankan Airlines pilots as they have got to work 28 days per month which is 13 months per year as the airline has failed to recruit the required number of pilots over the past 10 years.
On conditions of anonymity sources from SriLankan Airlines told The Sunday Leader that due to breaking rest over the years, the pilots are now prone to critical illnesses and more than 10 pilots have already undergone bypass operations during the past four years which is a high percentage comparing to the past 30 years.
“This is all due to the accumulated stress and fatigue the pilots are undergoing. Over the past 30 years not more than 5 pilots have fallen critically ill but it is now getting worse since we break rest more often. Even the doctors have warned us not to break rest as we do now, since it gives rise to many medical complications. Once we fall sick the airline will certainly cancel our flying licenses and either we will have to quit our jobs or will have to do ground work. It is not worthwhile for us to put our health at risk knowing well that the company will not look after us once fallen sick,” claim the sources.