Well this is ... different.
SAS laying off oldest pilots
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), faced with needed cost-cutting and conflicts in their cockpits, has decided to lay off 50 of its most senior pilots.
The layoffs will come in conjunction with SAS' decision to withdraw 18 aircraft from service during the winter months. Another 40 veteran pilots will be laid off during 2009.
SAS spokesman Claus Sonberg told website takeoff.dk on Monday that the airline had reached agreement with the pilots' union on the looming layoffs. "We have agreed that the layoffs will affect those who would soon be retiring regardless, instead of the young pilots," Sonberg said.
That may bring an end, if bitter, to an ongoing conflict between new and veteran pilots within their own labour organization. Pilots over age 60 who have chosen to keep working, despite union guidelines that they retire, have complained that they’ve been bullied by their younger colleagues.
Civil aviation authorities worried that the bullying was affecting flight safety. SAS disagreed, but is obliged to address the authorities' concerns.
Last week came news that SAS planned to lay off 110 pilots. Those with the most seniority usually are the last to go, but now SAS is radically altering traditional practice.