Duty rosters

The pilot’s influence on the personal duty roster is limited. A roster is valid for a week, two weeks or a month and rotating for the next two to four weeks. There are some possibilities for requesting a particular flight, multiple day’s services, days off or day trips. Allocation is depending on the airline and is mostly based on the pilot’s number of years in service.

In addition to flight rosters and training, there are also standby services, which serve to solve / cover irregularities. After the pilot has been called from a standby service, he/she must appear at the airport within a predetermined time (quite often within 60-90min). There is a distinction between short-term standby periods, with waiting times of one to three hours, and long-term standby periods, with waiting times between six and twelve hours. Other airlines do not use standby services at all and may expect permanent accessibility and the willingness of pilots to respond to changes in short term planning. While most airlines pay for standby duty some just pay for flight duty hours.

The European Flight Time Legislation stipulates that a rest period of 36 hours must commence after a seven-day working period. This period can start at any time and is less than 2 full days (unlike the weekend for most other workers). The free days are therefore not usually on weekends. Holiday periods, Easter and Christmas are normal working days.