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Sun 31 Jul 2016 02:29 PM

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Flydubai denies reports in UK media of pilots working illegal hours

Airline says it 'rigorously adheres' to civil aviation regulations

Flydubai denies reports in UK media of pilots working illegal hours

Flydubai has denied reports by UK media outlets that its pilots are being forced to work hours that are illegal.

British newspaper The Guardian claimed to have seen leaked documents suggesting pilots with the UAE airline are pushed too hard and are struggling to recover from tough day and night flight schedules.

More than 400 air safety reports written by Flydubai pilots in March and April were seen by the newspaper, it claimed. The reports included a pilot forgetting to disengage an aircraft’s handbrake during take-off.

Read more - Flydubai's responds to claims of pilots being overworked

The report said one pilot felt he was being made to work hours that were illegal, while another said he had been under “extreme pressure” since the airline’s March 19 crash in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

A Flydubai spokesperson said in a statement that the airline conforms to all civil aviation safety regulations.

“We are aware of the article that has been published in The Guardian newspaper,” the airline told Arabian Business in a statement. “As set out in our response to them, Flydubai confirms that it rigorously adheres to all regulations set out by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and operates to the highest standards.”

The airline had previously told The Guardian that the company had developed a “no blame” culture so pilots could raise concerns without fear of reprisals.

It said: “In an open, transparent and confidential way staff are encouraged to report all instances that they believe may have safety related consequences. We investigate each of these air safety reports to conclusion to understand if they have any operational irregularities and any safety implications.”

Flydubai said any pilot who felt too tired to fly could withdraw from duty “without any disciplinary consequence”, and that the number of reports referring to fatigue was small, according to the report.

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