iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

Soubikh Mitra, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 13, 2013
Air India’s general manager (training) has been accused of misusing the airline’s training facility to train himself to fly Boeing 777 planes.

According to a complaint sent to the vigilance department on March 7, Captain Amitabh Singh, an instructor rank pilot on the Boeing 787 aircraft, has used airline services worth more than Rs. 5 lakh to get refresher training in fly the Boeing 777 planes which he operated before graduating to the Dreamliner fleet.

Hindustan Times has a copy of the complaint.

Singh allegedly began his B777 training soon after the airline grounded its Dreamliner fleet owing to technical faults with its battery.

AI pays a monthly outstation allowance worth $2,000 (approximately Rs. 1.08 lakhs) to pilots operating even a single flight in a month. Since the B787 fleet was grounded, Singh was among pilots who stopped getting this allowance.

“It shows that he went back to train on the B777 to make the extra buck,” said a senior AI commander requesting anonymity.

The complaint also stated that the loss-making airline would incur expenses worth another Rs. 5 lakh when the Dreamliner fleet becomes airworthy as Singh will have to undergo a similar training programmed to operate those planes, sources said.

“The company's simulator facility is being treated as the pilot’s personal property. And, despite the financial crunch, the management has failed to take action against him,” added another airline source requesting anonymity.

Air India’s chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan did not respond to HT’s calls and a text message about the complaint.