State-run Air India seems to be headed for tougher times with no fresh recruitments planned in the near future while several hundred retirements loom in the coming years.
According to an airline official who did not wish to be identified, the staff strength of the technical department of the airline, which performs the key duty of aircraft maintenance is fast depleting. “We are working with just 70 per cent of the allocated staff,” the official said.
“The airline is supposed to have a standard force of 3,700 in the technical department against which we just have 2,400 employees now and with the induction of new aircraft, work has increased manifold,” the official said. Air India’s official spokesperson offered no comment.
The last time the airline carried out recruitments for the technical department was in 1999.
The technical team is the backbone for maintenance of the airlines’ fleet and it has lost a significant number of its experienced technical staff to private carriers offering better terms.
The official said the airline has not incrased retirement age to 60 years as has been done by the Airports Authority of India and Pawan Hans (which also come under the Civil Aviation Ministry).
“There is an urgent need to for fresh induction because the work has already increased and will increase manifold with more aircraft joining the fleets in the co