10 pilots resign after Air India tweaks employment contracts

  • None, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 03, 2015 00:15 IST

Around 10 pilots belonging to a batch of 38 recruited by Air India (AI) in 2011 have resigned, sources told HT.

HT had reported on November 3, 2014 that the batch of 38 trainee pilots hired on “regular employment” had been intimated by the airline later that they were on contractual employment, and were asked to sign fresh contracts.

AI had recruited the pilots from the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi in 2011 and had initially offered them employment as first officers on completion of their training.

The new recruits had protested against the move to change their employment conditions but the airline said all future recruitment would be done on contract basis.

“The AI Board has decided that all future recruitment of pilots will be on contract basis,” an AI spokesperson said. “Pilots hired on contracts get the same salary and perks. What is different from regular employment are the post retirement medical facilities and passage that one can avail,” an AI official said.

“This appears to be part of a cost-cutting strategy by AI as it curtails the company’s expenses on its staff post retirement,” aviation expert Subhash Goyal said.

“What AI has done with us is against employment ethics. We feel cheated,” a pilot said on the condition of anonymity. “Had we been informed before commencing our training that the employment is on contract, we would have explored other options.”

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