To stem the high-attrition level of pilots, Air India (AI) has decided to reverse its own decision to change the contract terms of a new batch of pilots, which had led to mass resignations.
HT had reported on November 3, 2014 that a batch of 38 trainee pilots recruited from the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi in 2010 on “regular employment” had been intimated by the airline that they were on contractual employment, and were asked to sign fresh contracts.
In protest, 10 pilots from the batch quit to join rival airlines, HT reported on January 29.
“Keeping in view the shortage of pilots and likelihood of their further attrition, the airline has decided to go ahead with the original offer letter and take the pilots from IGRUA batch of 2010 on regular basis with retrospective effect,” a senior AI official said.
Sources, however, said the airline’s decision to reverse its own order was prompted by the fact that some of the affected pilots had approached court against the airline’s unilateral decision to change their employment terms.
“The airline’s decision to arbitrarily change the employment terms may have been part of a cost-cutting strategy,” aviation expert Rajji Rai said.
“When other airlines are offering permanent jobs why would we want to join on a short-term contractual basis?” said a pilot, who did not wish to be named.