Dear Members,

the Corona pandemic has hit the aviation industry particularly hard and we will all have to struggle with the effects for a long time to come. This issue of Waypoints is therefore dominated by topics relating to the corona crisis, including the following:

  • Board resolution on membership fees
  • Validity of licences
  • VC Corona Task Force and VC Support Line
  • ECA and IFALPA on Covid-19

Besides that we have also found space for flight safety topics and further information, which you will find in the second part of this newsletter:

  • Working Group FHE - APU Use Guide
  • IFALPA on Gender Diversity
  • Publications of ECA and IFALPA

We hope you enjoy reading these Waypoints and that you all stay healthy. 

With kind regards,
Markus Wahl, VC Board and Team

Malte Fuhrmann joins Executive Board

Malte Fuhrmann was appointed Executive Board Member at the Board meeting on 24 March. He flies A320 as FO for Lufthansa and with him the Executive Board is complete again. Welcome to the Board, Malte.

Board Decision on Membership Fees

In its meeting of 24 and 25 March 2020, the VC Board decided to temporarily suspend membership fees due to the Corona crisis. Therefore no membership fees will be collected for April. The situation will be evaluated continuously.

Against the background of the Corona-related restrictions on air traffic, the deferral is intended to relieve all members. Possible financial bottlenecks due to short-time work and the currently still unclear development are to be avoided in this way.

Some important points in this regard:

  • For the time being, this is a deferral and not a complete suspension of fees. In other words, membership fees still have to be paid, but at a later date which has not yet been decided upon, possibly in an adjusted amount.
  • This arrangement applies to all members, not just those on short-time working.
  • The Executive Board will inform about the next steps in due course.

General Meeting postponed

The Executive Board has decided to postpone the General Meeting to 30 July due to the Corona crisis. This date is subject to the further development of the situation.

VC Support Line (24/7)

The current crisis hits us all. But more than a few of us are also confronted with extreme personal and existential challenges. We would therefore like to remind all VC members once again that we offer support for you:

On the VC Support Line - funded by the VC and operated by the Mayday Foundation - medical and psychological experts offer you assistance in dealing with various problems from the professional and private sector. 

The VC Support Line is available 24/7 on phone number +49 69 695976 222. Please do not hesitate to call and use this help!

For any legal questions please contact the VC legal department on +49 69 6959 130.

With kind regards
Your Executive Board

Extension of Validity of Licences

It is foreseeable throughout Europe that many pilots will not be able to extend licenses, ratings and medicals as planned within the scheduled periods because of the Corona crisis. The EASA has therefore created the possibility within the framework of the Flexibility Provisions that national authorities may extend both medicals and licences by four months under certain conditions.

On the basis of the EASA regulations and after consultation with the German Federal Transport Ministry, the Federal Aviation Authority (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, LBA) has, among other things, put into force the following General Decree on operations and aviation personnel, valid until 31 July 2020:


  • recurrent training and checking (operator proficiency checks, line checks etc.)

Aviation personnel:

  • ratings, certificates and endorsements (instrument ratings, class and type ratings, instructor and examiner certificates, language proficiency endorsements, medicals)

The decrees and details of the respective extensions can be found on the LBA website.

VC establishes Corona Task Force

The VC has convened a task force on the Corona crisis. It keeps track of all important tariff and flight safety issues across all airlines. One of the main tasks of the task force is to coordinate information and communications between tariff commissions, members and airlines in order to find the best possible way through the current crisis for all parties involved. A further focus is on aspects relevant to flight safety when resuming or ramping up flight operations.

(c) PIRO4D / Pixabay

ECA: "A change is gonna come"

The ECA is also working to limit the effects of the corona crisis on pilots. To this end, it has published, among other things, an open letter to political decision-makers on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our profession. Here is a brief summary of the key points and demands:

  • Efficient air transport is in the public interest
  • Top priority for maintaining industry and jobs
  • Ensure flexible license maintenance, thereby "Safety First
  • Develop EU unemployment reinsurance system
  • Simulator access for exempted personnel
  • No reduction of social standards and working conditions beyond what is absolutely necessary

In his editorial to the latest ECA newsletter, Association President Jon Horne comments that a crisis of unprecedented magnitude is going to hit the aviation industry. Even if the damage cannot yet be measured in figures, one thing is already certain for him:

A change is gonna come!

IFALPA forms Covid-19 Industrial Response Team

IFALPA has put together a special Covid-19 Industrial Response Team (IRT). It brings together expertise, resources and recommendations on the Corona crisis and has started its weekly meetings  on 20 March. The team is made up of pilots and other aviation experts with expertise in airline restructuring.

The IRT, together with other aviation stakeholders, aims to help ensure the safety of the system and the economic stability of the industry as a whole. The team is also expected to play an active role in shaping the recovery after the crisis.

IFALPA has also published a safety bulletin on the corona pandemic: Covid-19 Guidance for Crews

Corona Information Sources on VC Website

Under the impression of the current effects of the Corona virus, we have put together an overview of relevant information sources on our website. This page will be updated regularly.

EASA Covid-19 Information Hub

EASA has set up a "one-stop-shop" information hub on the subject of corona. It collects safety directives, information bulletins and advice issued by EASA and other authorities on Covid-19. The website is updated regularly, so it should remain a good and reliable source in the future.

Politics in times of crisis

Politics at federal and state level is in crisis mode, so that the usual legislative channels (e.g. hearings of associations and committee consultations) are currently having virtually no effect. You have noticed that a comprehensive package of laws on the Corona crisis has been put together and whipped through cabinet, Bundestag and Bundesrat within a very short time. The regulation on short-time work compensation only needed the cabinet's approval.

We are in contact with government representatives and members of parliament as much as possible. The VC was represented at the crisis summit in the Federal Ministry of Economics on 16 March. In further telephone conversations with the Federal Government's Coordinator for Aviation and Aerospace, Thomas Jarzombek, and the Federal Government's Coordinator for Freight Transport and Logistics, Steffen Bilger, we were and are in exchange on the situation of aviation. Telephone conversations have also taken place with members of the relevant Bundestag committees, in order to make it clear that VC is and must remain a dialogue partner for politics especially in times of crisis.

VC-Team working from home

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, VC Executive Board members and employees have been working from home since mid-march. For the first time in our more than 50-year history, a virtual board meeting was held at the end of March.

The transition of our work and the use of virtual meetings with Microsoft Teams, Go-To-Meetings and Slack has largely gone smoothly and worked out well, so that we are all able to continue working with full commitment for our members and the association alike in these difficult times.

Cargo pilots keep flying.. and flying.. and flying

While passenger traffic has largely come to a halt, freighter pilots keep flying and flying. Our colleagues in the cargo airlines are currently working at maximum capacity to ensure the movement of goods. During a pandemic, air cargo becomes all the more important to secure the supply of important products.

Nevertheless, cargo pilots lead a "life in the shadows" to a certain extent, as Felix Gottwald, SFO on MD-11F and head of the Working Group ATS, writes in his contribution for the ECA.

ICAO demands international cooperation and compliance with standards

ICAO calls on its 193 member states to comply with international requirements on transport and health screening of persons and goods. This is to ensure the effectiveness of international measures against the spread of the Corona virus.

In addition, aviation and health authorities should coordinate internationally and states are urged to establish national coordination committees comprising all relevant stakeholders. This also applies to air cargo operations. ICAO is calling on states to grant overflight and landing rights for aid flights, to quickly and easily clear cargo and to exempt cargo crews from quarantine regulations.

ECA demands fairness from Ryanair

All across Europe, pilots are calling on Ryanair to involve trade unions in overcoming the crisis and not to misuse the situation to permanently reduce social standards and introduce poorer working conditions.

The ECA has issued an open letter on behalf of the Ryanair Transnational Pilot Group (RTPG) and all other unionized pilots, calling on the management around Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary to negotiate openly and fairly. The Corona crisis can only be overcome together, write Jon Horne and Philip von Schöppenthau of ECA.

Cabin Air - APU Use Guide

Information of Working Group FHE

Time and again, the ECS (Environmental Control System, Packs...) is contaminated, not least by the APU. According to research by the Working Group FHE, the following is worth knowing for APU operation:

Waiting 3 minutes after starting the APU before using the Bleed Air has the following positive effects 

  • The APU can warm up so there is less wear on its components.
  • Optimum performance of the seals is achieved.
  • Any oil residue inside the APU can be expelled through the Surge Duct (see diagram, click to enlarge).

Background information: As soon as the APU is switched on, bleed air is always extracted - independent of pressing the APU Bleed Button. A Bleed Control Valve is used to direct this air either overboard or to the Environmental Control System (air conditioning).

Further information can be found on our homepage under "Nice to know".

Gender Diversity Leads to Gender Balance

IFALPA drew attention to the issue of gender diversity again in February. In its position paper, which was already published in December, our international federation demands that fundamental problems such as the compatibility of family and career be tackled more strongly in order to create equal opportunities for women and men.

According to IFALPA, the airline industry has to create better opportunities for women not only for fair working standards but also out of economic self-interest and in order to meet the shortage of skilled workers. The VC fully supports the endeavour for gender balance.

As we continuously strive to improve our newsletter we require and seek your feedback. Please forward your inputs to or use the reply function of your mail provider should you have any suggestions for improvement, tips, or wishes regarding topics to address. We will do our best to keep our newsletter as informative and interesting as possible.