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Fired For Refusing to Fly Through an Ash loud

Mon, May 17, 2010 — David Evans

Briefs

A captain for Spanish airline Vueling, owned by Spanish flag carrier Iberia, was fired 15 May after being deemed unprofessional for refusing flights through the volcanic ash cloud that has plagued the European airline industry since April.

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His contract was terminated after he made the decision not to operate flights out of Barcelona, Spain — air space that was contaminated by volcanic ash — this week due to safety reasons. He has been a pilot since 1992 and has been flying for Vueling for four years. His decision not to fly through space contaminated by volcanic ash is sound; he put safety first which resulted in him being a target for management with an agenda dictated by things like on-time statistics and profit. It is the captain’s belief that the company made an example of him and wanted to send a message to other pilots. The public should be aware of the message that this airline is sending to their fleet of pilots: make sound decisions based on the safety of passengers and crew and get fired.


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