Here are the airlines that pilots rate as employers according to the latest study conducted by ECA.

The survey asked pilots to look at criteria like the use of precarious atypical employment forms in their airlines, contractual arrangements, union relations, collective bargaining, and work-life balance. The intention was to take stock of pilot satisfaction in Europe’s cockpits and get an idea of ​​how attractive and social employer airlines are.

The airlines end up at different levels where the best is called ”Social excellence”, where also every third airline in Europe ends up. Those are airlines, where pilots testify to be treated like family, take pride in working for the airline, and are engaged with the company’s success. Airlines represented as a ’’Social excellence’’ is Air France, Condor but three Scandinavian airlines, Wideroe, Novair, and Flyr.

The level below is called ”Social Partner” and means that there is room for improvement. Here we find SAS together with Norwegian.
At the third level, ”Social Snail”, which ECA explains by the airlines at this level doing well on some aspects but underperforming (sometimes strongly) on others. On this level, we find Danish Air Transport (DAT) together with Estonian airline Xfly that fly as a wet-lease partner for SAS.
Next to last, we have Social Misfits ’as those airlines score low on almost all aspects, and pilots indicate little appreciation or satisfaction with these employers. Here we find Ryanair and Wizzair amongst other airlines.

Last but not least, we have ”Social Junk”, where we find most ACMI airlines from the Baltic. Such as Smartlynx and Avion Express.

When asked why ECA has conducted this study, Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau answers.
 “Many pilots speak of exploitation, abuse, by-passing European laws, disregard for safety, and other mal-practices in certain airlines. It is therefore important to pull the curtain for anybody who wants to see these practices – be it authorities, policy-makers, EU Institutions, or the traveling public. At the same time, we hope that our survey will create a positive spiral and a healthy competition among airline employers to offer the best working environment for the safety professionals in their cockpits: the pilots. ”

Link for the study:


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