View Full Version : Pilots (and others) clubbed on the runway in Buenos Aires

Jorge Newberry
30th May 2001, 18:41
The agony of Aerolineas goes on. Full details of yesterday's events are to be found in the story linked below.


For those of you who can't read Spanish the gist is that 300 employees, about 120 of them pilots, of Aerolineas and Austral disrupted operations for a number of hours at Aeroparque yesterday. They were demanding that their salary arrears be paid and that their airlines - devastated by years of what could most politely be described as poor management by Iberia and SEPI - not be put into liquidation. After several violent confronataions with the airport police they were persuaded to leave the runway peacefully. There were also protests at Ezeiza which led to last nights Iberia 6844 to Madrid being cancelled. Technical staff occupied the hangars overnight for fear of not being allowed access today

[This message has been edited by Jorge Newberry (edited 30 May 2001).]

31st May 2001, 00:15
Once again Iberia has managed to bankrupt an airline which it has taken over. The first one was VIASA of Venezuela, where it put out of work more than 3,000 employee's. Look's like Aerolineas is going the same way? Miss management or maybe convinience on the part of Iberia? Funny how they seem to do all right!

Ignition Override
31st May 2001, 02:53
According to many in the US, only unions are to blame for airline problems, for example, an employee's job is to blindly follow orders. To suggest that management anywhere might be a problem, would be heresy to many here in los Estados Unidos.

31st May 2001, 08:34
God, Iberia really do have the worst record when it comes to this. They really don't like getting involved with other airlines, I mean has anyone not flying for Iberia ever recieved good service from Iberia handlers?!! If you're not Iberia they just don't want to know you. We were on a positioning flight once out of Barajas on a DC8 going back to the US and we waited so long for them to get the ASU,GPU, organise the fuel etc,that we had to go back to the hotel and take another crew rest!! We would have been out of hours, it was only a positioning flight, but still...

Ignition O, It's not quite that bad, noone with a brain in the States could possibly blame the unions for what happened with Lorenzo and Icahn. Good victory for the Northwest Mechanics as well, especially with regards to this hostile Bush administration.

Good luck to all in Argentina,

31st May 2001, 15:34

Great victory for the COMAIR guys also, you suppose?

Jorge Newberry
31st May 2001, 18:38
To return to the topic...

Protesting workers last night succeeded in delaying the departure of Iberia 6840 by half an hour and persuaded a hundred or so of its passengers to switch to the later departing Aerolineas flight instead.

The Labour minister, Patricia Bullrich, has started moves to remove recognition from the technicians union and to fine SEPI (the Spanish state enterprise which owns 95 percent of Aerolineas) for not paying April's salary.

The flight attendant's and tecnichians unions are refusing to accept the new management plan which, in return for lower salaries and longer hours, would guarentee that nobody would lose their jobs for the next two years. The unions argue that labour costs are not the real issue and that SEPI is just trying to wring the last few drops of blood out of the enterprise.

The quid pro quo being offered by the government for the implementation of the plan involves deregualtion of airport services and a lowering of landing charges. As this has not led to howls of protest from Eduardo Eurnekian, the owner of "AA2000" which runs most of the countries airports, there are suggestions in the press that he would be only too happy if Aerolineas goes the way of VIASA as he would be well placed to lead a consortium to pick up the pieces. There are even hints that this scenario may not be be unconnected with the alleged stubborness of the technicians union.

[This message has been edited by Jorge Newberry (edited 31 May 2001).]

Al Nocturnis
31st May 2001, 22:34
Having worked as a pilot for Aerolineas for a short time, all I can say is that the blame shold probably be shared by the pilots. Dinosaurs or what?

dallas dude
1st Jun 2001, 05:10
The beatings will continue until morale improves, eh?



Jorge Newberry
3rd Jun 2001, 23:54
AL Nocturnis,
For all I know the pilots may be the biggest bunch of dinosaurs this side of Jurassic Park but it sure wasn't them that got Aerol'neas into this current mess. Horacio Verbitsky tells it like it is in today's "Página 12". If you can read Spanish it's all here


It's far too long to translate but among the juicier points...

1. In 1990 the company formed by Iberia to take over Aerol'neas was capitalised to the tune of precisely 250 dollars - not a typo.

2.Aerol'neas was handed over free from debts but the first balance sheet presented by the new managemment listed debts of 920 miilion dollars. These debts included the money Iberia paid for Aerol'neas in the first place.

3. The "privatisation" deal included a mysterious figure of 80 million dollars for "Acquisition Expenses". To suggest that this sum may reflect the costs involved in bribing politicians such as Dromi, Cavallo and Menem would be a gross libel on these noble public servants whose honesty and probity is beyond all discussion

And there's a lot more where that came from. Whoever is at fault here it certainly isn't the pilots or any other employees'

[This message has been edited by Jorge Newberry (edited 03 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Jorge Newberry (edited 03 June 2001).]

Pontius P
4th Jun 2001, 01:09
Jorge, I wasn't suggesting that they did - only that they didn't help (being dinosaurs). They certainly didn't seem to be living in the real world of aviation as most of us know it!