Colombian Civil Aviation Authority, Aerocivil, has given permission to hire foreign pilots to Avianca, the national flag carrier of Colombia and other airlines in the country.
Avianca made the decision to hire foreign pilots, after more than 700 of the company’s 1,300 Colombian pilots opted to strike demanding salary and benefits changes to put them on par with the airline’s pilots in other countries. The strike forced the airline to cancel half of its flights affecting more than 300,000 passengers.
According to Civil Aviation Authorities, The foreign pilots must hold a valid licence and the permission will last for 90 days. Also the pilots must speak Spanish if they want to land on national airports and a foreign cockpit commander additionally must have done a course on Colombian flight regulations.
Following the decision to hire foreign pilots, Avianca said, it has already received more than 1,800 job applications to replace the strikers demanding 30% more wages.
Avianca, a member of the Star Alliance and one of the leading airlines in Latin America, carried 29.5 million passengers in 2016. It has more than 21,000 employees and serves 105 destinations in 28 countries in the Americas and Europe.