Fresh trouble could be brewing for the ailing national carrier, Air India (AI).
Pilots belonging to erstwhile Indian Airlines (IA) have issued a legal notice to AI chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan after the airline changed flying rules for pilots and cabin crew, known as the Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL). This means that the IA pilots would have to fly as much as their counterparts in private airlines.
Aviation minister Ajit Singh had on September 11 directed the AI to implement guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The move, that would ensure better utilization of pilots, followed a HT report on September 5 on how AI pilots, who are the best paid in the industry, had lesser flying hours and bigger rest periods.
The decision was implemented from September 16.
"We hope pilots react sensibly. A decision has been taken on FDTL, which is going to help the airline and it will not be changed," a ministry official said.
Sources said a large section of IA pilots were against launching any agitation especially after the strike earlier this year, which had led to the sacking of hundreds of pilots.
"If this course of action were to be adopted, it would be illegal," said the legal notice.