Qatar Airlines has demanded $162,000 in training expenses from a young pilot released without explanation from her job earlier this week. According to paddleyourownkanoo.com, an industry newsletter, the airline didn’t tell Jawaher Al-Hail why she was being fired but like every other airline in the world it has drastically curtailed service. The airline is in the process of releasing thousands of employees because of the COVID crisis and numerous termination letters are appearing on social media and it’s not clear if others are being presented with a training bill.
To increase the number of indigenous pilots on the line, Qatar created a cadet scholarship program for locals. Al-Hail joined the cadet program in 2013, graduated in 2017 and had been working ever since. The big bill might be in the fine print of her contract. As part of the deal, she would have agreed to a term of service to the airline and an early departure triggers a repayment. She’s taken her situation to the top and asked the Emir of Qatar to intervene on her behalf. The airline did, however, give her a week of severance pay.
These types of contracts tying training costs to retention are not unique to the aviation industry. But normally only come into play if the individual self terminates their employment. That would be quite a lop-sided contract to be able to terminate someone without cause and also demand repayment of training costs.
Most training contracts have a pro-rate decrease over the life of the contract. The longer you stay before quitting, the less you owe. Obviously this one did not.Sad. Once she is out of the country how can they enforce it?
Except that she did not quit.
I did some further reading on this.
Apparently she took leave during the training process to have some children, and eventually her husband asked her to quit work and stay home (common in the Middle East.)
Fired? Quit? what happened? anyway, good luck on the $$ collection – ha.