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Pilot Caught Secretly Working For Two Airlines


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I’d be impressed by this woman’s time management skills and hustle, if only her actions weren’t so reckless…

Pilot reportedly worked at Virgin Atlantic & KM Malta Airlines

Airline pilots have a lot of responsibility, given the number of lives they have in their hands. This is why aviation is so heavily regulated, to ensure that pilots only fly so many hours, and have a minimum amount of rest between trips.

Well, The Shift reports on one “entrepreneurial” pilot who seemed to find a way to work for two airlines at once, without the other airline knowing about it. Specifically, the pilot reportedly worked for both KM Malta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic at the same time (with the former being Malta’s new state-owned airline, replacing Air Malta).

The woman had reportedly been flying as a first officer for both airlines since at least December 2023, until she was caught in May 2024. She was caught “by chance” flying for Virgin Atlantic, while also being a pilot for KM Malta Airlines. So rather than observing the minimum required rest periods, the Malta-based pilot would fly to London on her days off, and work trips for Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic reportedly dismissed the pilot on the spot, when the company found out what she was doing. Meanwhile KM Malta Airlines initially suspended her, only to reinstate her a short while later, so she’s still flying at the airline. Many pilots at KM Malta Airlines are reportedly furious what she hasn’t been terminated, given her clear violation of safety guidelines.

To state the obvious, pilots have a maximum number of hours that they can work for good reason, and pilots aren’t supposed to work for two airlines, since there’s no way to safely manage rest in a situation like that.

A first officer worked for two airlines at once

I wonder how the pilot managed her schedule

The part of this story that surprises me the most is how this pilot was able to manage her schedule with each airline, so that there were no conflicting flights on her rosters.

Presumably she wasn’t very senior with both airlines, since this can only go on for so long. Typically when you’re junior at an airline, you don’t have much control over your schedule, and can’t easily choose all your days off.

So it seems to me like a miracle that she could for several months schedule her flying so that there was no overlap. Did she just do a lot of trip trading with other pilots, or how exactly did that work?

I also can’t help but wonder if she was planning on sustaining this long term (which seems totally unrealistic), or if she was thinking of moving from one airline to the other, but was waiting on something before quitting at one of the airlines?

Keep in mind that there were some major changes at Malta’s national carrier recently, as Air Malta was replaced by KM Malta Airlines. Maybe she applied to work at Virgin Atlantic when she wasn’t sure about the future of Malta’s national airline? But then when the airline launched operations, maybe she had second thoughts?

Presumably the pilot first worked for Malta’s airline

Bottom line

Most pilots take their jobs very seriously. There will always be some bad apples, though in the case of one European pilot, she chose to violate rules in an unusual way. She held jobs at both KM Malta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic at the same time, in violation of rest rules.

She shouldn’t put the safety of passengers at risk in this way, given the dangers of fatigue. However, the way she managed her schedule is rather impressive, and I’m amazed this went on for months.

What do you make of this pilot working for two airlines?

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