Flying days end at 65


LUXEMBOURGE, 6 July 2017: A European Union law that forces passenger airline pilots to retire at 65 is valid, the EU’s top court said on Wednesday.

German flight instructor Werner Fries took his case to a German labour court in 2013 after his employer, Lufthansa, ended his contract when he turned 65, in line with EU law.

The German court referred the case to the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, which ruled that the action was legal.

Flight crew health is a sensitive issue in Germany after a Germanwings co-pilot suffering mental health problems slammed his plane into the Alps in 2015, killing all on board.

While it is “true that the age limit at issue establishes a difference in treatment based on age,” that difference “is justified by the aim of ensuring civil aviation safety in Europe,” the ECJ said in a statement.

“It is undeniable that the physical capabilities essential to the profession of an airline pilot diminish with age,” it added.

© Agence France-Presse