Who cares about fatigue? If you work in aviation, you certainly do care about fatigue. Crews need to have a rest to be able to fly and everyone knows that fatigue may mean disaster. But that is true for any other sector, no one works well when fatigued, especially when operating machinery.
According to World of Aviation, European low-cost airline Wizz’s CEO was the target of a lot of criticism from unions for, apparently, dismissing the airline’s staff’s fatigue and claiming they were “required to take the extra mile”. The article also mentions that Wizz CEO, Jozsef Varadi, believes that his crews taking time off due to fatigue is damaging its brand.
The pilots’ response
According to the article, Wizz’s pilots responded to the CEO’s message through a letter from their Union, The European Cockpit Association. The union sent the letter to the European safety regulators making them aware of what is happening at Wizz and the company’s safety culture.
A worldwide problem
This is not exclusive to Wizz Air, we have seen chaos and disruption in airports around the world. Airports around the world have seen major disruption in recent months. Air travel has risen significantly almost to pre-pandemic levels, however, the staff is not at that level yet. Many have been laid off during the pandemic and there’s also the Covid factor. Yes, because Covid is still here and it’s still infecting people. That translates into sick leave for those infected and fatigue for those who are not.
A matter of reputation
The article says, that Wizz Air CEO said fatigue is damaging the airline’s reputation. I agree flight cancellations and delays at the airport will always cause problems and damage the airline’s reputation. But let’s put it in perspective, having one of the airline’s planes crash, and thousands died because of an extremely fatigued crew who risked everything to “take the extra mile” is not exactly an example of an airline’s good reputation.