SriLankan Airlines signs Collective Agreement with Aircraft Technicians

Saturday, 12 February 2011 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SriLankan Airlines has signed a new 3-year Collective Agreement with the union representing Aircraft Technicians, as the National Carrier strengthens its aircraft engineering facilities and positions itself as a Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul organisation of choice in the region.

The agreement was signed with the SriLankan Airlines Aircraft Technicians Association (SAATA) recently in Katunayake. Discussions were facilitated by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon.

The Airline’s Head of Engineering Priyantha Rose said: “SriLankan Engineering is fast gaining a reputation as a key service provider for the region’s airlines, and a major reason for this is the expertise of our aircraft engineers and technicians. We are known for quality work, on-time completion, and highly competitive rates.”

SriLankan Engineering, the aircraft Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul (MRO) arm of SriLankan Airlines, has in recent years carried out major contracts for airlines such as India’s IndiGo and GoAir, and Pakistan’s Airblue. It is currently in discussions with several other airlines in South Asia and the Middle East.

Nuresh Pereira, President of SAATA, said: “All of our aircraft technicians take great pride in their professionalism, and we believe this collective agreement will provide them with stability in rewards and remuneration over the next three years, which will be a win-win situation for both the airline and its aircraft technicians.”

SriLankan Engineering holds the prestigious EASA 145 certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency, and its Training School is certified to the EASA 147 standard.

The National Carrier is in the process of strengthening its workforce as it embarks upon a major expansion programme which will add seven more aircraft to its fleet this year; launch services to several more cities such as Guangzhou, Kochi and Moscow; and upgrade its passenger cabins with the latest Audio-Video-On-Demand entertainment systems and Flat Bed Seating. Over the last six months SriLankan also acquired three other aircraft and re-launched its Air Taxi domestic service.

A similar Collective Agreement was signed with the airline’s largest employee union, the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya, last November, and discussions are also going on with the Flight Attendants Union and the Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers (ALAE), the other employee union at SriLankan Engineering.

The agreement with SAATA covers a period from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2013, and is the fifth in a series of agreements with SAATA which began in 1999. It covers a wide range of areas such as salary scales, promotions, increments, allowances, incentives, overtime, rosters, leave entitlements etc.