Air India has barred its pilots and flight attendants from operating flights with spouses, siblings and children as fellow crew members.
Unlike private domestic carriers, many crew members in AI have relatives working in the same company. The oldest Indian carrier employs pilots who have married co-pilots and colleagues tasked with cabin service. Many of their children and siblings are also employed with the airline.
The national carrier, which issued the order on Monday, said that the move was for maintaining air safety.
“It has been noticed that on occasion flight duties being performed by immediate family members on the same flight either as pilot-in-command, co-pilot or cabin crew. In the interest of flight safety, immediate family members ie wife, husband, children, sisters and brothers performing flight duties on the same flight is henceforth prohibited,” the airline said in a circular.
It added that, in case, the automated flight rosters schedule family members on the same flight they should volunteer to get it changed.
AI chairperson and managing director Ashwani Lohani told Hindustan Times that there hadn’t been any instance of air safety lapses owing to family members operating a flight.
“It has more to do with discipline,” he said.
Crew members, however, felt that the move could hamper their personal life.
“Now with separate flying, we will hardly get to spend any time with each other. Most of our flight schedules include up to 4 days of outstation stay,” a senior flight attendant operating long distance international flights said requesting anonymity.