For ordinary Algerians, an Air Algérie pilot receives a staggering salary. There are many who accuse the pilots of greed when they demand a pay rise or some form of social benefit. Others directly accuse them of “extortion” and “lack of patriotism” when they decide to leave the national company to join another transport company.
Airline Pilot: What Obligation?
To hope to become an airline pilot in Algeria, the candidate must have a scientific, technical or mathematical high school diploma characterized by 5 years of study at an engineering school. It’s not over: the future pilot must undergo training in a civil aviation school to obtain an airline pilot’s license (ATPL). Investigations that in the long run can cost thousands of euros (from €25,000 to €65,000). And for each type of aircraft, you must have the corresponding licenses, because a Boeing 737 differs from an Airbus A330.
A young pilot’s career begins as a pilot officer (chief mate, co-pilot) on medium-haul flights. After 4 years, he will be able to apply for long-haul flights. To become a captain, the applicant must have 10 to 12 years of experience as a co-pilot, depending on the airline, to achieve this status (we are also talking about flight hours and not flight years). ‘experience). At Air Algérie, this experience can be up to 15 years.
Are pilots well paid?
Of course, the profession of an airline pilot is very attractive. It is presented in society as the dream job. This is especially in relation to the benefits it gives its owner, starting with the salary. But the salary of the airline pilot is different from one airline to another, mainly because of the competition. These pay differences are also characterized by status as co-pilot or captain.
One of the factors that determine a pilot’s salary, in addition to seniority, is the type of aircraft ordered and the flight performed (medium-haul or long-haul). The pilot conducting a flight on board a Boeing 737 is not paid in the same way as the one controlling an Airbus A320. And a medium-haul flight Algiers-Paris is not paid like a long-haul flight Algiers-Montreal, for example.
As the profession of airline pilot is in high demand in the civil aviation market, airlines compete to offer the best pilots. It’s a bit like in the professional football world. Except that the nationality of the driver, unlike that of a footballer, is irrelevant. And what counts for an airline, as for a professional football club, are the qualities and skills of the pilot.
What is the salary of Air Algerie pilots?
In Algeria, the pilot profession is highly valued in society. For ordinary Algerians, an airline pilot in Air Algérie is well paid. An idea that is widely accepted in society, which may prove to be correct when comparing the salary of pilot pilots with the salaries of other white-collar jobs, such as engineers at Sonatrach or medical specialists at CHU.
In absolute terms, the assumption is therefore correct, because a pilot within Air Algérie receives a higher salary than the other professions mentioned. But what must first of all be taken into account is that the flight pilot, in addition to the number of years of study (minimum bac+5), is subject to ongoing training throughout his career. On average, the pilot undergoes an exam every 6 months in addition to the requirements of this profession at all levels (working hours, sleep hours requirements, responsibilities, etc.).
At Air Algérie, an airline pilot currently earns an average salary of 8 million dinars per year for one captain with seniority, and between 4 million and 5 million dinars per year for one pilot officer, according to figures published anonymously by employees of the national company on the Glassdoor site. If we convert these salaries into euros, it will give the parallel market a remuneration of between €2,700 and €4,500 per month for an experienced pilot and between €2,000 and €3,000 per month for a pilot officer. However, these amounts should be put into perspective with what other airlines offer.
Royal Air Maroc and Tunisair pilot salary
Comparing the salaries that the pilots of Air Algérie receive with those of other international companies, we note the great delay that the Algerian national company accuses in this area.
According to the Moroccan site Le360, a pilot of Royale Air Maroc (RAM) touches down between 48,000 and 52,000 dirhams per month, i.e. between €4320 and €4680 per month. For their part, the foreign pilots recruited by the RAM perceive 6700 euros per monthaccording to the same source.
If the pilots of the Moroccan company are better paid than Air Algéries, the pilots of the Tunisian national company Tunisair are no better off. According to the president of the Tunisian Association of Aviation Pilots, Karim Elloumi, the pilot’s salary in Tunisia is actually only half that of his Algerian colleague and about a third of the salary of his colleague from Royal Air Maroc. . The salary for a Tunisair pilot fluctuates between 1700 and 1900 euros per month, according to Glassdoor. A situation that last October saw around fifteen pilots leave Tunisiar to join Air Senegal.
How much does a pilot earn at the French company Air France?
But it is when we compare the salaries of Air Algérie pilots with their counterparts from other international companies that we see the extent of the difference. If we take the company for example Air Franceit can pay its pilots up to 15,000 euros per month. Even better, the salary of a pilot flying a Boeing 747 has a gross salary on it 17371 euros per monthaccording to the Professional Retraining website.
Pilot pay: Air Algérie is not doing better than the companies discount like Transavia
Even the companies discount, which, however, only performs medium-haul flights, provides more advantageous salaries to its pilots compared to the company Air Algérie. The company discount Transaviaa subsidiary of KLM, pays a salary of 6358 euros per month to its pilots while they were at the company Jump!a subsidiary of Air France, is the salary of a pilot between 10,000 and 11,000 euros per month.
Salaries that are far from those received by Air Algérie pilots, even with long service. In addition, the pilots of the Algerian company, who put their salary demands on hold after the health crisis, have returned to the accusation since the resumption of the company’s activities in June 2021. Through their union, they demand from now on to take responsibility for their demands of a “social” nature.
Will Air Algérie pilots give in to the wishes of other companies?
In a statement last April to El Khabar newspaper, the representative of the Algerian Aviation Pilots Association (SPLA), Khaled Khelifati, indicated that Air Algerie pilots are deprived of the benefit of benefiting from 3 air tickets per year as well as travel expenses. This issue of “free” tickets, assimilated by some voices to “unfair advantages”, prompted the SPLA to respond through a press release published on 3 August.
The Algerian company’s airline pilots, who constantly sound the alarm about their socio-professional situation, will certainly not sit idly by. Already last April, the president of the SPLA had revealed that “100 pilots out of the 500 working at Air Algérie are preparing their files to join other foreign airlines”.
This warning must be taken seriously by the management of the national company, led by the new CEO Yacine Benslimane. The latter, who inherited a disastrous situation at all levels, must seriously address the issue of their pilots’ salaries. The latter, who are highly sought after by many foreign companies, especially those from the Gulf countries such as Qatar Airways, Ettihad and Emirates Airlines, will certainly not accept their current situation with Air Algeria for very long.