Air India (AI) flights are likely to be grounded from Tuesday midnight, with the largest pilots union, Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association, declaring a strike. ICPA is the biggest association of AI pilots and its members are primarily those who were with the Indian Airlines prior to its merger with Air India in 2007.
ICPA has been demanding wage parity for AI pilots for a long time now.
ICPA pilots threatened to go on strike a couple of months ago as well, but rolled back the plan after conciliatory moves were taken by the Labour Commission. However, all talks between the pilots and AI management broke down last night.
With pilots going on strike domestic as well as international flights will be affected. Sources said that AI’s executive pilots too might join the strike. Air India and Indian Airlines merged in 2007 to form NACIL, which was recently renamed Air India.
"On the one hand, expatriate pilots are being hired at high salaries, on the other our salaries are being deferred every month. We are being treated as second class citizens,” said Capt A Bhinder, president, ICPA. An AI spokesperson said the strike will be illegal since pilots have to give a seven-day notice.