The Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) has challenged the 1:1 policy adopted by the national carrier to fill its flight crew requirements. The union, representing Air India pilots before the merger with Indian Airlines, has approached the vacation bench of the Bombay high court seeking a stay on the policy schedule, which was issued by the airlines on October 20.
The pilots have pointed out that such a decision violates the agreement between the guild and Air India.
The training programme for pilots to fly the Boeing 787 Dre amliners is expected to start from November 3 in Singapore.
Their counsel Jamshed Mistry stated that such a policy, which requires assigning the flight duty on a Boeing 787 aircraft to one pilot each from Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines, is “arbitrary” and “contrary to the agreements”.
The petitioners have stated that in a series of meetings, the guild members were orally conveyed that the representatives of the central government desired that “the flight crew requirement for the Boeing 787 be met from the pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India on a 1:1 basis”.
However, the IPG representative informed the chairman and managing director of Air India that “this policy was in violation of the wage agreement dated December 22, 2006, and it will be totally unjust as it would adversely affect the career path of the pilots of Indian Airlines.”
The petition also states that during one of the meetings, the petitioners had put forth a few conditions that would have to be fulfiled if Air India desired to send pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines for training to Singapore, which will start on November 3.
“However, the conditions have not been met,” petition states.
The proposed schedule for training pilots on the Boeing 787 aircraft had reserved approximately half its slots for the pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines, which pilots of Air India contended is discriminatory.
They also said that pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines are less experienced than Air India pilots and so the 1:1 policy is detrimental to their career and should not be implemented.
The hearing has been adjourned till November 2.