Less of deskwork and more of flying — that’s the message from Ashwani Lohani, the new chairman and managing director of Air India (AI), to the airline’s senior most pilots, as he puts in place a more efficient system to streamline operations.
AI’s senior-most pilots, also known as management or executive pilots, were till now entitled to full-month’s salary, which is equivalent to 72-80 hours of flying, if they flew a minimum 10 hours a month.
“The provision had been made as these pilots have managerial responsibilities but it was found that at times some were misusing the facility — doing little flying and drawing their full salary,” an AI official said.
“This (provision) has been removed so that they fly more,” an AI spokesperson said.
A majority of the executive pilots are commanders on the Dreamliner fleet, which is facing a severe shortage of pilots after a string of resignations in the recent past. Thirty senior pilots, all first officers on AI’s Dreamliner fleet, have resigned in quick succession, HT reported on September 2.
AI had the worst on-time performance of 76.1% among domestic airlines in August — a figure attributed to reasons, including shortage of crew. Lohani assumed charge as AI CMD only on August 31.
“The new CMD has taken good initiatives that should improve the AI’s functioning. Senior pilots should be seen in the cockpit and not doing file work,” aviation expert Subhash Goyal said.