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Don't blame the workers

01 April 2005

One of the biggest costs for nearly every airline is labour. But this is not why airlines lose money, says Ingo Marowsky,aviation secretary, for the International Transport Workers' Federation, the global trade union federation.

Read more: airline Aviation International Transport Workers' Federation ATA bankruptcy protection

IATA's member airlines employ about 1.5 million staff. Add to this non-scheduled airlines and related services such as airports or air traffic services providers, and it is fair to say that the industry provides jobs for some 3 to 3.5 million people.
Statistics again tell us that labour is one of the biggest operating costs for an airline. Depending on the region, it accounts for up to 25% or 30% of total costs, even bypassing fuel expenditure at the top of the list. No one disputes this fact, not even trade unions or their international umbrella organisation, the International Transport Workers' Federation, ITF, based in London.
However, several questions arise which shed a different light on this issue, and the value of this purely statistical information must be questioned. It is important to take a deeper look at other aspects of this subject, aspects which are often forgotten or even...

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