Les emplois atypiques dans l’aviation


TACKLING ABUSES FROM ATYPICAL AIRCREW EMPLOYMENT Building a legislative framework that closes the loopholes


When using the term ‘atypical employment’, ECA refers to all forms of relations between an airline and a crew member for the provision of work that is not in the form of direct indefinite employment – including, amongst others, self-employment, fixed-term work, work via (non-regulated) temporary work agencies as well as zero- hour contracts and pay-to-fly schemes.

Atypical employment is not necessarily illegal, but it can have a detrimental impact on health, safety, pay and working conditions. ECA believes that any form of contract in aviation that restricts commercial airline pilots from performing their jobs without burden (without feeling forced or feeling dependent in the operational choices they make) constitutes a safety hazard.

The majority of the self-employed pilots work for a low fare airline. Yet self-employment is mostly used to disguise what is in reality regular employment. In addition to the extremely precarious situation in which false-independent pilots are placed, this also creates an unfair competitive advantage for those airlines who use it and therefore severely distorts the aviation market.

ECA’s position is that the current EU legislative framework is unfit to provide aircrew sufficient labour, social and employment protection. ECA advocates for specific EU legal instruments to close the current legal loopholes, to create legal certainty for aircrew, airlines, and national authorities alike, and to allow for an effective application and enforcement of rules. For many years ECA is banging on the door of the European legislators (incl. EASA) but it’s hard to get positive response and follow up. This worries ECA because it puts both flight safety and the working conditions of the so- called group self-employed pilots at risk.

Un extrait


To become a pilot, students must pay high fees (from 50 to 100.000 EUR+) for getting a pilot’s license. After graduating from flight school and receiving “frozen license”, they are often asked to pay to learn the specific instructions to operate the specific type of aircraft that their employer uses (« type rating ») (from 20 to 90.000 EUR). Such situations are called pay-to-fly.