As many airlines are now running at a loss, chief executives cannot afford to accept pilots' requests for better pay and conditions.

Management do not enjoy cutting pay or laying off staff, but these solutions may save an airline. Pilots tend to be very well rewarded when airlines are profitable.

For the many pilots recently laid off, just getting back into the cockpit is a great benefit. Hence it is very easy for airlines to replace the troublemaking pilots with these available ones: it probably causes less disruption than a strike.

Many people dream of becoming a professional pilot and would be willing to fly for an airline even if they are paid a minimal amount. This is because for a pilot, professional pride is already priceless.

Nigel Leung

Fareham, UK

Source: Flight International