Sepla calls Air Nostrum to restore the image of the grounded Captain

– Air Nostrum has grounded a Captain despite he followed all the safety procedures and made the mandatory report of the facts.
– The two passegers missed the flight because they delayed their boarding by refusing to pass the PCR controls. The Captain never denied their boarding
– The passengers were not using wheelchairs due to a disability, but as part of the reduced mobility protocol.

Madrid, 29 de marzo de 2021.

Sepla requests Air Nostrum to rectify and restore the image of the Captain who has been falsely and unjustly accused of having denied boarding to two people because they were in wheelchairs last Thursday, March 25, on flight IB8782 between Madrid and Zurich.

Sepla, on behalf of the slandered Captain, wants to clarify the events that took place during the boarding of the flight, as stated in the different reports sent to the company:

  • Just before boarding, the passengers were already waiting at the door of the aircraft inside the assistance truck for people with reduced mobility (Ambulift).
  • The reduced mobility device was issued to them in line with the protocol for people with crutches.
  • After the Captain authorized these passengers to board the aircraft, the Ambulift had to returned to the boarding gate to carry out the PCR documentary checks, as they had not been checked at first.
  • Once at the boarding gate, the passengers refused to carry out these mandatory checks, forcing the driver of the reduced mobility vehicle to return to the aircraft.
  • When one of the passengers demanded to speak to the Captain, the coordinator’s response was that he was carrying out tasks related to the aircraft’s overhaul.
  • The argument between one of the passengers and the ground staff was increasing the delay in the flight.
  • Finally, the passengers agreed to go through the PCR controls, for which the assistance truck had to be restarted and return to the boarding gate.
  • The flight crew continued to prepare for the flight and start the engines.
  • When the passengers with reduced mobility returned to the aircraft, the flight was already closed and the aircraft engines were running. At that moment, it was no longer possible for them to board, as established by all air safety protocols.
  • The Captain did not participate at any time in the course of events, focusing his actions on the work of the flight, as corresponds to the duties of a Captain.
  • At the company’s request, the Captain sent the mandatory report on the events that took place.
  • In spite of this, he was unscheduled from his next flights, with the consequent implication in terms of loss of confidence and honorability before his own company.

Sepla does not understand that the company’s response to these events has been to grant the presumption of guilt to the Captain of the flight, who at no time participated in the course of events, and whose actions were focused on the operational work of the aircraft. In fact, the Captain’s actions at all times complied with the airlines’ operational procedures, which prevent passengers from boarding when the aircraft doors are closed and the engines are running. In addition, as is the procedure for all airlines, it sent Air Nostrum the mandatory report describing the facts.

Sepla does not understand, therefore, that Air Nostrum has decided to give more credibility to the information in the media, which also happens to be owned by this conflictive passenger. It was the repeated refusal to submit to the anti-COVID controls (mandatory for all passengers) that delayed the departure of the flight more than necessary.

Sepla recalls that the offended Captain has been in the service of Air Nostrum for more than 22 years, without any mishap in his record. For this reason, he cannot tolerate the accusation that his actions are discriminatory, since he did not even take part in the course of events. “It is not tolerable that a company to which you have dedicated your professional career temporarily removes you from your duties, in a kind of preventive measure based on rumors and fake information, instead of on the multiple reports that it has to its credit,” said the president of Sepla, Óscar Sanguino.

In this regard, Sepla recalls that the purpose of the reports is precisely to elucidate everything that happens around an air operation. “Air Nostrum had several reports from its own employees, which corroborated the same version. Despite this, it has decided to ignore them and retaliate against an employee with an unblemished record” has stated the Sepla Company Council at Air Nostrum. “We hope that, although the damage to his image has already been done, they will be able to rectify and compensate this colleague who has been falsely accused of discrimination.