Avianca (AVHOQ) started a second instance of pilot hearings on April 2, 2018, after 210 pilots appealed the first disciplinary proceeding results. The appeals are to be resolved by a committee of three – two vice presidents and the director of the airline, according to El Espectador.

The appeal comes after Avianca’s (AVHOQ) Colombian pilot strike was ruled illegal by the Superior Tribunal of Bogota for interfering with public transport. As a result, Avianca (AVHOQ) started disciplinary action for their employees resulting in 107 dismissals in first instance and 109 temporary suspensions.

The company claimed that the proceedings were intended to clarify the violations committed by pilots participating in the strike.

The strike of Colombian pilots began on September, 20, 2017 when approximately 700 pilots of Avianca (AVHOQ) ceased operations demanding better pay. The strike lasted 51 days affecting 523 thousand passengers after the cancellation of roughly 20 thousand flights.

Following the disciplinary ruling of March 7, 2018, the process of the second instance for 210 pilot hearing begins. "Since the end of the first cycle of disciplinary proceedings, Avianca (AVHOQ) is rigorously analyzing the arguments that the pilots have expressed, in order to study whether the decisions made in the first instance are left firm or modified," said Avianca (AVHOQ) in a press release.

Captain Jaime Hernández, president of the Colombian Association of Civil Aviators (ACDAC) which convened the cease of activities is skeptical about the hearings. Hernández, who was also one of the dismissed pilots told El Espectador that he had not been able to exercise the legitimate defense because the first instance proceedings were carried out simultaneously and the lawyers could not be present at all the hearings.

International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Association condemned the airline’s decision to terminate pilots and called for Avianca (AVHOQ) to ease all legal action against the ACDAC Board of Directors and pilots.

Hernández said that if the sanctions are confirmed, they will file an action for protection of the rights they consider violated and await the pronouncements of international bodies such as the International Labor Organization.