The Delhi high court on Wednesday slammed the striking pilots of Air India and said they have no right to be trained on the advanced Boeing 777, to be used for international flights.
“Till the time they are on strike, they shall not be given training. Let the strike be called off first, and then we will consider the plea,” a bench headed by acting Chief Justice AK Sikri said.
The court said this while refusing to entertain an appeal by Air India against a single judge's May 11 order, which had stayed the training of more pilots till the implementation of the Justice Dharmadhikari Panel's recommendations on the issue.
The high court, however, refused to disturb the ongoing training of Air India pilots. “So long as they (Air India pilots) are on strike, the court is not inclined to hear the matter. They cannot go on strike and simultaneously get training,” the bench said, pulling up the Air India management for seeking the court's intervention in this regard.
Posting the matter to July, the bench said the pilots could file an application for hearing the matter after they call off the strike. “As they are on strike, they have no right to get any training. If the strike is called off, they can move an application for hearing the matter,” the court said.
The order came after Air India's counsel, Lalit Bhasin, submitted to the court that the single judge was wrong in staying the Boeing 777 training being imparted to the pilots. Bhasin had submitted that staying the training would cause huge financial loss, and the advance flight will be grounded.
According to Air India, 200 commanders (chief pilots) and 200 first officers (co-pilots) need to undergo training for Boeing 777. However, only 64 commanders and 62 co-pilots are currently being trained.