Press Release

Global Pilots Condemn Avianca Airlines Management’s Union Busting Actions

March 02, 2018


The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) condemns the union busting conduct of Avianca Airlines management who terminated the President of the Colombian Pilots’ Union (Acdac), for carrying out his legitimate union activities. We understand that Avianca management is planning similar discipline for many more pilots in retaliation for supporting their union.  

Captain Ron Abel, IFALPA President, stated that this outrageous anti-union conduct cannot be tolerated. Avianca pilots and workers are being denied their basic human right to collectively bargain salary and working conditions and not to be subject to discrimination based on union membership.  

This behavior, in our view, also violates the Labor Action Plan in the current U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement and the International Labor Organization Fundamental Conventions 87 & 98 that Colombia has ratified, which protect the rights of workers to organize, bargain collectively, and engage in industrial action.  

IFALPA is also concerned that the “non-punitive” or “Positive Safety Culture” recommendation from The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations Specialized Agency, has been undermined by the actions of Avianca management. Flight Safety is a pilot’s number one priority. Distractions, concerns about employment status, and difficult relationships with the employer, can adversely impact a pilot’s focus on his primary function, the safe operation of the aircraft.   

IFALPA urges Avianca management to change its course and work to regain the trust of its pilots in order to reestablish a Positive Safety Culture environment.  

Captain Abel pledges the full support of IFALPA to the Avianca pilots represented by Acdac to reinstate them to their positions with no retaliation by Avianca management. IFALPA will be communicating with the appropriate Colombian government officials to seek their intervention and bring this unfortunate matter to a mutually satisfactory conclusion.  

For further information, please contact:  
Emily Bitting, IFALPA Senior Communications Specialist,
+1 514 419 1191 ext. 228, 


Note to Editors: The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations represents more than 100,000 pilots in nearly 100 countries around the globe.
The mission of IFALPA is to promote the highest level of aviation safety worldwide and to be the global advocate of the piloting profession; providing representation, services and support to both our members and the aviation industry.