S G Stott expressed some grave concerns about current safety standards at Olympic Airways in his letter (Flight International, 9-15 September). He points out that with such a drastic reduction in staff (5,000 to 1,850) safety cannot but suffer.

Confirmation of his concerns came a month later. The article "Safety audit poses threat to Olympic's game plan" (Flight International, 21-27 October) points out that the US Federal Aviation Administration is refusing to upgrade the airline to Category I status based on safety concerns.

This hardly comes as a surprise. In the name of deregulation and market competition the airline is enforcing some "revolutionary" reforms. It is refusing to pay for overnight hotels and is demanding that its flightcrews fly the aircraft, with passengers, after having overnighted in the aircraft. It is firing 25% of its pilot workforce. To minimise costs it elected to start at the top of the seniority list. That means that all of its experienced, long and medium range pilots will be fired.

There can be no doubt here. Deregulation and competition are having an effect opposite to that intended. They are destroying infrastructure instead of enhancing it. It is time for those that engineered this free-market reform to step in and perhaps save some lives.

Name and address supplied

Source: Flight International