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Wizz Air’s CEO is receiving flak from unions, including pilots’ representatives, after encouraging tired employees to “go the additional mile.”

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Following the release of financial results on Wednesday, which indicated pre-tax losses of £546.5 million for the previous financial year, Jozsef Varadi addressed his thoughts to employees.

Mr Varadi was overheard by the European Cockpit Association criticizing employees for calling in sick, which contributed to the company’s recent shortages.

“I accept that fatigue is a possible effect of the challenges,” he explained, “but once we start stabilizing the rosters, we also need to bring down the fatigue rate.”

“I mean, we can’t run this business if every fifth person on the base calls in sick because they’re tired.”

“We’re all tired, but sometimes going the extra mile is necessary.”

“When we cancel flights, the harm is significant, both in terms of brand reputation and in terms of financial loss, transactional cost, since we have to pay compensation.”

The COVID-19 epidemic drove airlines and airports to eliminate employees as travel was all but shut down, resulting in workforce shortages across the industry.

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