Turkey tightens rules on pilots leaving to work for foreign airlines

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A321neo lands at Istanbul New Airport, Turkey April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

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ISTANBUL, July 8 (Reuters) – Turkey’s civil aviation authority is tightening conditions for Turkish pilots who quit and go abroad to work for foreign airlines as the aviation industry rushes to find work additional staff in the midst of a booming tourist season.

The sector across Europe is facing particularly long queues at airports this summer, in part due to a lack of staff to handle the rebound in demand following the COVID-19 closures.

The Turkish authority has said that a letter of consent from the former employer will be required for pilots who wish to work for foreign airlines. If a pilot resigns without a consent letter, their verification request will not be processed for six months by the authority, he said.

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Air traffic and passenger numbers are approaching pre-outbreak levels in Turkey, according to official data.

The Hava-Is union, which has said the new regulations are an intervention in the freedom to work and individual rights of pilots, will meet officials from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to discuss the changes.

Hava-Is said there is a high demand for Turkish pilots from Gulf countries and North American air carriers. There are 10,525 airline pilots in Turkey, according to data from aviation authorities.

Last month, Germany announced it would speed up work permits and visas for several thousand foreign airport workers, mostly from Turkey, to help ease summer travel chaos. Read more

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Reporting by Ceyda Caglayan Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; edited by David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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