Turkey tightens rules for pilots working for foreign airlines

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A Turkish Airlines Airbus A321neo lands at Istanbul New Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

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ISTANBUL, July 8 (Reuters) – Turkey‘s Civil Aviation Authority is tightening conditions on Turkish pilots who quit and move abroad to work for foreign airlines as the airline industry struggles to recruit additional staff amid a booming tourism season.

The industry across Europe has been grappling with particularly long airport queues this summer, partly due to staff shortages to cope with the surge in demand following the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Turkish authorities said that pilots wishing to work for foreign airlines must have a letter of consent from their previous employer. If a pilot withdraws without consent, the agency will not process their request for verification for six months, it said.

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Air traffic and passenger numbers in Turkey are approaching pre-eruption levels, officials said.

The Hava-Is union, which said the new rule interfered with pilots’ freedom to work and individual rights, will meet with officials from the Department of Transport and civil aviation to discuss the changes.

Hava-Is said there is serious demand for Turkish pilots from the Gulf and North American airlines. According to the Aviation Authority, there are 10,525 aircraft pilots in Turkey.

Last month, Germany said it would speed up work permits and visas for several thousand foreign airport workers, mostly from Turkey, to ease summer travel chaos. Continue reading

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Reporting by Ceyda Caglayan Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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