Dear IFALPA Colleagues,
As we begin 2018, IFALPA is working from a position of strength and accomplishment to advance airline pilots’ interests – thanks to the dedication of our Member Associations. Because of the resources you so generously share as IFALPA pilots, the year ahead promises to be extraordinary, particularly as we celebrate our Federation’s 70th anniversary.
In 2017, our federation received more than a dozen requests for mutual assistance. IFALPA Members demonstrated solidarity with pilots in Canada, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Italy, the Leeward Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Slovenia, and South Africa through disputes and even strike action. Unfortunately, Monarch and Air Berlin, two airlines that were part of our IFALPA family, ceased operations last year, and Alitalia ended the year with an uncertain future. The situation In Colombia is not resolved and pilot leadership continues to be in jeopardy.
It is essential to recognize that despite the uncertain environment ahead, our Federation is stronger than ever, thanks to the resolve of our members. The direction provided in IFALPA’s Strategic Plan (in the process of final approval by the Executive Board) forms the foundation of all of our work. At our 73rd Conference in Luxembourg this March, we will review and refine our strategies to reflect the changing global economic and political environment.
One example of incredible progress is the Ryanair pilots’ success at the end of 2017. After years of struggle, Ryanair pilots stood together and prevailed in gaining a public commitment from management to acknowledge and work with representative employee unions. The words from management are encouraging, but actions need to match the rhetoric and IFALPA will continue to monitor the situation.
IFALPA’s technical committees completed wide-ranging work programs at their annual meetings in 2017, thanks in no small part to the generosity of host Member Associations in all of our regions. IFALPA committees continue to create publications that reflect the Federation’s positions on both emerging aviation issues and long-standing priorities. These documents form the basis of our advocacy at The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and are used to create guidance material that Member Associations can use as they work with their airline or regulatory authority.
In 2018, IFALPA will press forward, with our Strategic Plan and policy guidance in hand, continuing to work to cultivate the relationships necessary to achieve results for our Members. We will work together to expand our partnerships at every level—a goal facilitated by the relocation of our headquarters office to Montreal. Our current location puts us closer to global aviation influencers including ICAO and state regulatory authorities, as well as other international organizations representing aircraft manufacturers, airports, air traffic service providers, and airlines.
I would like to personally thank our Member Associations that have invested enormous resources, our subject matter experts who have spent time away from their families, and our dedicated staff for their tireless work that benefits our members as well as the flying public around the globe. In 2018, IFALPA will continue to count on the support of our Member Associations and our pilot volunteers.
As IFALPA begins our year-long celebration of 70 years of flight safety, I invite each of you to engage more fully in the work of our Federation. IFALPA proudly serves as the global voice of pilots, but we need your voice to ensue we’re stronger than ever in 2018.
Captain Ron Abel