Serbian pilots angry at new flight time rules

Monday, May 25, 2015

Serbian pilots have voiced their dissatisfaction with new rules on maximum flight times adopted by parliament last Thursday as part of wider changes to the country’s Air Transport Law. According to the Independent Union of Serbian Pilots, pilots are now expected to work for a maximum of 190 hours over 28 days, up from the previously regulated 160 hours for over thirty days. As a result, pilots will work more than the forty hours per week prescribed by the country’s Labour Law. The union has urged the Minister for Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, to revert these changes in order to protect the safety of Air Serbia’s passengers and crew. The Ministry maintains the law is in line with European Union regulations and recommendations from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).


  1. Anonymous13:16

    U suštini dosta destinacija u Evropi na kojima Air Serbia leti nisu baš toliko iscrpne, da bi piloti radili 4 sata dnevno... Ali opet 40 sati nedeljno je preterano

    1. Anonymous13:18

      Verovatno su prepisali zakon od nekoga samo ne znam koga.

  2. Anonymous16:18

    No one is being asked to work more for less. That has been completely missed in this entire discussion. Every pilot gets paid for the hours that they work and this law brings Serbia into line with ALL other European airlines. This also gives flexibility in the weekly rostering but will not result in pilots working beyond a certain number of hours on a monthly basis. Besides, i'm not sure how many other people in Serbia are earning in excess of EUR4000 per month. Given the opportunity, i'd bet my life that the majority of citizens in Serbia would give their right arm to earn half this amount. They are just a spoilt and privileged group of people who forget how the rest of the citizens get by with 10% of their earnings. They have nothing to complain about. They are lucky that they still are able to work in this country.

    1. Anonymous18:09

      Why don't you invest 40,000-50,000 Euros and at least three years in training and exams, then if you get lucky (and I mean, VERY lucky) you too could work as a pilot for 2000-2500 euros per month (not 4000, only a few captains and instructors earn that much in Serbia, but they very well deserve it). Oh and nobody needs your right arm, you can keep it.

    2. Anonymous19:25

      Then why don't they go abroad and earn whatever they think they are worth ? To me it seems like a very simple outcome. When workers are not happy with they earn, they usually take their skills elsewhere

    3. Anonymous21:05

      Anon @ 6.09pm ... not sure which pilots you are referring to here, but in Air Serbia, Captains earn min of EUR4k / mth (all in) and FO's earn min of EUR3200 / mth (all in). That's 10x the av monthly salary in Serbia. Granted, that pilots do invest alot in their training, but that's their choice, the same as so many young students who choose to go abroad to educate themselves at good schools/Universities - who also have to pay exhorbitant fees. They come back to Serbia and very few of them earn this sort of money for an av of 40hrs work per week. In the end, as the other comment above said, anybody not happy with what they earn here in Serbia, ultimately have the freedome of choice to take their employment elsewhere - as many pilots have done and are today working for Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines etc etc

    4. Anonymous23:25

      Yes that's their choice, and not all of the trained pilots get a chance for a job, which is 40,000 euros down the drain right there. Unlike many other jobs where you can eventually find work, in aviation you don't get that much chances, not here, not in Asia, especially not in western Europe. Singapore? Qatar? They don't need people without at least 3000 hours of flight. The best chances here are in taxi aviation, which is around ~2000 euros during july or august where you get to fly almost every day, which is mentally and physically more challenging and stressful than being a shepherd for 200 euros per month. That's why pilots are paid so much.

  3. Anonymous20:05

    Not only PILOTS but also entire CABIN CREW!

  4. Beograd Na Vodi23:40


    Whole three years of studying? My heart is broken!

    How about doctors for instance? Mimimum of six years os studying, constant need for updates, night work, shift work, weekend work...Human life responsiblity...

    And in Serbia this is one quarter of doctors income...

    1. Beograd Na...23:42

      I meant pilots income is quarter of specialist income after ten years of training...

    2. Anonymous23:56

      Minimum three years, it can span up to indefinitely. And you also need updates, night work, shift work, weekend, you are responsible for human lives also. In a normal country doctors are paid as much as pilots. However as a doctor you can find a job for a year or two, or three. A pilot job is waited for double that time, if you get lucky that is.

  5. Anonymous11:01

    Some of you people are so ignorant and uneducated that I won't even bother getting into deep discussion with you. First of all, it's not my problem that doctors are underpaid in this country. It is the government's responsability, and it will become everyone's problem when more and more young doctors leave this country to work elsewhere. Do you want the same to happen to pilots in Serbia?

    Trust me, not everyone makes those figures you all talk about. In India you have people working for peanuts, but do you think Indian aviation pays pilots (foreign or local) peanuts too?? Or in some African state?? I know for the fact they don't.

    The duty limits are probably a rarity in Europe or elsewhere in the world, but so what? LH has striked over 10 times last year because of their pension (which is also a bit of a rarity, but I still support them, and don't think they are a spoiled bunch. They sure deserve it!

    If you haven't been in the front seat of an airliner, you absolutely have no clue what it take to get there and what it takes to preserve your profession.

    It's in the interest of all of us to carry your (and our) family safely while not being fatigued and consonantly under outside pressures. We have enough internal ones we face every day at work. But that is part of the job.

    1. Anonymous14:23 think that 40h/week on ground and 40h per week in the air is the same. Do you know what a fatigue build up is, and that this is a safety issue.

    2. Anonymous18:37

      Anon @ 11.01am - great monologue, but what's your actual point ?

    3. Anonymous19:16

      I think the point is that we should keep the work rules as they are! Because you are not improving anything with this new proposed rule. Just degrading the safety of the operation. But obviously there is plenty of jealousy in some people, who would rather see others suffer too.

    4. Anonymous19:51

      Getting aligned with EU regulations is a hard argument to beat. If EU regulations are not good, don't blame Serbia, strive for a change at the EU level.

    5. Anonymous21:15

      If you have an issue with the regulations and laws that the rest of Europe have, then it's time to think about changing industries ... go become a train or bus driver

    6. Anonymous08:39

      We'll take you anonymous advice and apply for a job at GSP or Zeleznice Srbije! :) What are you credentials for this recommendation?

    7. Anonymous16:37

      There are no "credentials" per se - it is merely an observation. If you are unhappy about the govt aligning its laws/regulations with that of Europe, then going to work elsewhere in Europe is not going to meet your expectations. Therefore, go fly outside of Europe or go work in another industry - no more and no less than that.

  6. Anonymous20:37

    So every EU regulations is a positive one?

    Even USA is moving forward and in the right direction when it comes to their fatigue and duty rules.

    1. Anonymous21:11

      Perhaps, but the US is not a candidate country to join the EU, Serbia is. If it wants to continue to avail itself of the benefits that the ECAA provides, then it has no choice but to align its regulations with this.... shit happens dude. If your pilot friends have issues with this, then tell them to drink plenty of that Turkish coffee that you guys are known for, or else, reach for the No-Doz pills

    2. Anonymous08:36

      Not everyone uses coffee or pills to fight off the fatigue :)

  7. Anonymous15:18

    Stigao zapad i u nasu aviaciju vidim....neka neka! Treba malo da se stvari potresu. Nadam se da su uskoro na redu i SMATSA i ostali partijskokumovski kadrovi....

  8. Anonymous17:13

    Mislim da rad i disciplina je pozitivna stvar. Ali ako mislite da ce novi poviseni radni uslovi to poboljsati, onda se varate.

  9. Anonymous23:29

    Lazy fuckers .... thank Christ someone has finally woken up to the scam that these JAT pilots used to have. Guess what guys - holiday is OVER - welcome to reality !!!

  10. Anonymous23:44

    US rules have started to change as a result of Colgan 3407. Positive changes will find their way from US into EU regulations over time.

  11. Anonymous22:52

    New regulation proposes 190 working hours in 28 days, while old regulation was 160 wh in 30 days. The state law is 160 in 30 days. No one is saying anything about rise in pay. If one calculates it will come to 9,5 hours per working day. Already daily limit for crew is 13 hours, which is extendable by 2 hours. The new regulation also reduces annual leave.
    Last year throughout Europe there was campaign against 13 hours daily limit, as it was proven by doctors that it has negative impact on overall crew concentration during most critical phases ie.during approach to land and in case of missed approach and preparation for new approach. Just for information, truckers have 8 working hours daily limit with a 2 days per week off, as a European regulation. Flight crew do not have 2 days off per week. Also there used to be in regulation that 2 nights in a row are not allowed, however that part vanished some time ago, so 2 or 3 nights in a row followed by couple of early flights are not a rarity. Just to be clear, it is possible that one can be planned to fly twice in a same day with a 13 hours rest in between. (whatever happened with 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep and 8 hours of private time). Also I have to state that no pills are allowed, whatsoever. For staying awake, fighting flu, or anything else.
    I'm not sure that anyone would be happy if pilots would have smaller wages, except for 'neibour with dead cow'. You should know that domestic pilots are paying taxes too, so if all of them would leave, state would stay without that money, and instead it would have to hire foreign pilots for much much much bugger paycheck, and would stay without tax anyway, but that is not a big deal.
    What my point is that those jealous neibours really do not know really nothing about aviation. Wish they could spent a week in a cockpit doing nothing, just to feel the heat in a 4 square meters room.
    I know You know, but I have to mention so You could realise it: flight crew can not take brake in the middle of the flight time, they can not call home anytime they want, there are no weekends nor state or religious celebrations, there are no birthdays, kids celebrations or New Years. There are no evenings, mornings or 'sorry I'm late, my phone didn't ring'.
    But there are 3 (or more) annual proficiency checks, annual medical check (ones career and family depends on that), constant learning and knowledge improvents as new technologies and regulations are constantly updated, and YES there is a hefty paycheck. And YES I want to work less for more, don't You? And I want to work in my country, and I do not want to go abroad. And what's it to YOU if pilots are fighting for better work conditions and in the interest of safety?
    Eu regulations are brutally protruding in to safety for sake of money.
    The story goes on and on but I don't have any more time as I have to go to put my kids to slep and go to work.


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