China Eastern Airlines has been hit with a 1.5 million yuan ($215,000) fine from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) over a recent flash strike by some of its pilots.

The CAAC says on its website that Shanghai-based China Eastern has been fined 1.5 million yuan for flight disruptions that took place over 31 March and 1 April. The disruptions saw 21 aircraft operating passenger flights returned to their departure airports after takeoff, some of them as a protest by pilots for better pay and working conditions.

A CAAC investigation found that one flight was disrupted as a result of weather conditions and two were the result of technical problems, says the regulator. It says at least four and as many as nine were found to have been deliberate disruptions carried out by pilots, adding that of the remaining nine it was not able to definitively determine what was the reason for the flight disruptions.

The disruptions were out of China Eastern’s Yunnan branch and the airline suspended several management officials as well as pilots after the flight disruptions. The carrier initially claimed the disruptions were the result of weather issues but it later admitted this was not true.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news