Tired Pilots Told to Toughen Up

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A memo sent out earlier this year from one of Jetstar's senior managers that surfaced during an Australian Senate meeting today threatens pilots to "toughen up princesses," reports an Australian news outlet.

An employee from the low-cost airline based in Australia sent the email after airplane crew members complained of tiredness when flying a Perth-Singapore leg, a route that the writer describes as a "horror shift." The route usually flies overnight and requires a quick turn-around with no extended break.

"This email comes with a warning. If you are easily offended then delete this email and read no further," reads the memo.

The memo then threatens pilots to "toughen up" and tells them: "You aren't fatigued, you are tired and can't be bothered going to work."

"We are shift workers and that doesn't always fit in with normal life. If you became an airline pilot thinking that you will be home every night and not have to fly through the night, then that is pretty naïve. Might be time to go instructing," the letter continues.

There is a business lecture intertwined in the email as well: "Airplanes don't make money sitting on the tarmac, they need to keep flying."

According to Australian news sources, Australian Senator Nick Xenophon released the memo during an inquiry into aviation training standards today, saying the email is "hugely concerning."

The letter was passed to Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan for comment with a request for an explanation of "the background and the culture represented by the language of the email."

Senior airline officials seem to have not been aware of the memo and have not yet responded.

"Fatigue is a serious issue and can have an impact on the ability for pilots and crews to safely fly a plane," says Senator Xenophon in a statement.

"The potential intimidation in this email is alarming and indicates that there may be a bullying culture among pilots," he continues.

Concerns over fatigued pilots have been widespread since a fatal commuter jet crash in Buffalo that happened two years ago was blamed in part on tired pilots.

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