First class travel, time-bound promotions and flying the premium Boeing 787 Dreamliners on longer routes are some of the assurances sought by agitating Air India (AI) pilots from the management.
Pilots belonging to AI as it existed in the pre-merger days and who fly international routes are unhappy with the management’s decision to allow pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines (IA) to train for the Dreamliners.On Saturday, three AI flights to prime international destinations — New York, Toronto and Chicago — were delayed as the pilots did not report for duty.
AI officials told HT that some of the demands were “unacceptable”. The management has been emboldened by a Supreme Court order that training slots be equally divided between AI and IA pilots. The first of the 27 Dreamliners is likely to be delivered by Boeing in June. The first batch of IA pilots left for Dreamliner training on Sunday.
AI pilots, represented by Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), have demanded first-class seats when travelling as staff on duty. AI officials said providing first class seats, especially on routes like the US where tickets can cost up to Rs.4.5 lakh, will be a huge drain on the carrier. An IPG official said the demands were justified.
Another demand that the AI management has termed as “absurd” is to operate the Dreamliners on longer routes and allow IA pilots use them only for shorter routes. “Such division is not possible,” an official said.