Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.(File photo)
Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.(File photo)

Pilots’ bodies urge aviation minister Hardeep Puri to roll back pay cuts

The pilots claimed that while private airlines are rolling back the austerity pay cuts for their pilots, the wage cut for Air India pilots has further increased from October which is divorced from market reality and unfair
By Neha LM Tripathi | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2020 11:50 PM IST

Air India pilots have urged aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri to roll back their pay cuts, pointing out that unlike private airlines, their salaries were further cut from October.

In a letter written on Monday, the pilots of Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) (representative body for the pilots of Indian Airlines) and Indian Pilots Guild IPG (that includes pilots of Air India Express and Alliance Air apart from Air India) complained of the unilateral wage cut and asked the minister to look into their grievances sooner. They also reminded Puri of their pending meeting.

The pilots claimed that while private airlines are rolling back the austerity pay cuts for their pilots, the wage cut for Air India pilots has further increased from October which is divorced from market reality and unfair.

The pilots also said their colleagues who test positive for Covid-19 need to undergo quarantine or hospitalisation as per the requirement which is followed by mandatory medical checks and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approval. This entire process takes more than a month for the recovered pilot which is unfair as they are not paid when they do not operate.

“Is it fair to deny these pilots their livelihood due to an occupational hazard? Is this how ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) wants to treat the workmen who are making the Vande Bharat Flights (VBM) possible?” questioned the pilots.

“We pilots continue to be shackled with an indefinite and unilateral wage cut of up to 70% while the indifferent company top management contributes a namesake 10%. The airline top management has let us down tremendously. Our pilots have expressed their displeasure and are extremely troubled by this unwarranted ordeal,” said the association.

The letter read, “The DGCA has offered contract flight operations inspector (FOI’s) special as well as a non-flying compensation. We fail to understand why barbaric austerity measures apply only to Air India pilots.”

It concluded by urging Puri to intervene immediately and put a stop to the ‘victimisation’ and therefore they urgently request a follow up meeting with the minister.

An Air India spokesperson said, “We would not like to comment on the issue.”

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