Release #: 17.36
July 11, 2017

Statement Regarding British Airways Use of Qatar Airways Aircraft/Crews

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, in support of the European Cockpit Association’s request that the European Commission (EC) and/or the government of the United Kingdom assess whether the lease by British Airways of aircraft and crews from Qatar Airways is consistent with European and U.K. law, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement:

“The lease of aircraft and crews is being used by British Airways to undermine the lawful collective activity of a group of British Airways flight attendants who are seeking to improve their wages and working conditions. This lease is completely inconsistent with the notion that government action should not benefit one party to a labor dispute. Moreover, these non-EU aircraft and crew are being used in the intra-Europe marketplace, even though their employment contracts are governed by Qatar law. 

“Neither the European Commission nor the U.K. government have made any meaningful assessment of the effect of this lease on the terms and conditions of employment of British Airways flight attendants. If a U.S. airline attempted to do the same, it would be denied, as U.S. regulations require that an analysis be conducted to determine if the leasing of foreign aircraft by a U.S. airline would give an advantage to a party in a labor dispute.

“ALPA opposes the use in the U.S. market of any non-EU leased aircraft by an EU airline in order to undermine legal collective bargaining. We urge the EU and the United Kingdom to harmonize upward their leasing rules and require an analysis similar to that made by the United States.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or