Home » Aviation » PAL’s legal victory may be precedent-setting

PHILIPPINE Airlines’ (PAL) recent legal victory against a pilot who broke conditions of his contract in 2006 may set a precedent for a more recent case involving PAL pilots who resigned abruptly earlier this year.

In a decision dated September 15, Makati Judge Elpidio Calis ordered pilot Zenon Lukban to pay the flag carrier a total of P3.3 million, representing P1.5 million plus interest for the cost of his training at the PAL Aviation School; and P1.87 million plus interest for the cost of training his replacement in addition to P50,000 in attorney’s fees.

PAL pilots are under contract with the airline for at least five years after completing their training. Lukban left the airline in 2006, two years after completing his training. He also did so even after management rejected his resignation request.

PAL declared him absent without official leave when he failed to report for work right after.

PAL said the legal victory could help it win its lawsuits against at least 27 pilots who resigned abruptly last August, resulting in the cancellation of several domestic and international flights, affecting over 5,000 passengers.

The pilots left PAL after finding better-paying jobs abroad. However, the Airline Pilots Association of the Philippines said the resignations were caused by PAL management’s move to transfer its employees to sister company Air Philippines, where salaries were lower.

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