Voodoo From Niue, joined Mar 2001, 2128 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1445 times:
About a month ago the Spanish pilots union was condeming Clickair as being 'unsafe': http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/tol/...yle/travel/news/article1869862.ece
Whats the consensus about this airline in this and in general terms, these days.
Was the above just union griping?
Starting to look at some Barcelona fares for later this year and they keep coming up as the cheapest....
I think the article in English misunderstood a bit what SEPLA said. Actually, Clickair is not an unsafe airline, nor many others. What was said is that they ranked airlines in two groups "safe airlines", and "less safe airlines". The first group is formed by "legacy" carriers: Iberia, Air Europa, and Spanair, basically. The second group incorporates low cost / charter airlines such as Clickair, Vueling, Air Pulmantur, Iberworld, or Air Comet.
This doesn't mean that they are unsafe, but pilots are pointing out that these airlines follow a strategy that makes safety be less rigurous. Let's put some examples:
- Older aircrafts (some Clickair aircrafts are ex-Iberia A320 and are 15 years old, Pulmantur's B747s are second handed and old aircrafts...)
- Vueling and Clickair start operations between 5:30 and 6:30 am and their aircrafts stay flying continously up to 12pm, with small 30 min rotations (Air Comet rotations are sometimes as low as 120 min in their base airport). In addition, sometimes they fly overnight routes (to Moscow, to Helsinki, to Athens, to Nador, to Tangier...). So pilots consider better what legacy carriers do: they'd like longer rotations that allowed more technical checks and longer pauses to the personnel.
- Pilots and FAs fly as much as the law permits to improve costs. This implies tired crews.
- They are put under pressure by their employers to fulfil the shedules. Just think of IB: if a crew runs out of time at any airport (let's say Dakar, as it happened a couple of months before), they just ask for a hotel and they stop the aircraft a gien number of hours (out of Spain can be 12 hours), making the airline bear the consequences. On the other hand, Vueling and Clickair crews prefer to make an effort and come back to their base, in order to avoid a disruption to their airline.
- There is a high employee rotation in any of these airlines (particularly in the case of FAs), so pilots assume that the crews are thefore less senior and less trained.
However it's just a comment made by some professionals that would like to keep the first model rather than the low cost one, and that's why they protest. I'm sure they are partially right, but I wouldn't say Vueling or Clickair are less safe than Spanair, for instance.