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No flights of fancy

Air India pilots want more to stay up in the air, maybe a bottle of champagne would not be amiss.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2012 23:54 IST

Most of us slog through life to earn our daily bread. Some of us count ourselves lucky that a pay cheque is assured at the end of the month. And then, of course, there are the high-fliers. Make no mistake, we aren't really talking about the ones who were born with the proverbial silver spoon tucked into their tiny mouths, or even those who were born into ordinary circumstances but rose through the fickle, somewhat misguided, operation of chance and merit. Our high-fliers indeed take wing and soar above the quotidian, being the prized pilots of Air India (AI), the national carrier.

The latest news report, giving us lowlife a taste of what high flying is all about, is revealing: the AI pilots, unhappy and agitating, have demanded an upgrade to first-class seats when traveling as staff on duty (they travel business class at present) and time-bound promotions from co-pilot to captain. To add to the list, they have expressed their displeasure that their poorer cousins from the erstwhile Indian Airlines (IA) are being trained to fly the premium Boeing 787 Dreamliners, insisting that IA pilots should only be allowed to operate the craft on shorter routes.

AI officials, belly-aching spoilsports that they are, are reportedly cribbing about the fact that first-class seats can cost up to Rs. 4.5 lakh and might amount to a huge financial drain on the carrier. Little do they realise that in the interest of the nation, and of those flying across oceans and continents, it is imperative that we ensure the highest degree of comfort and happiness for those steering the craft to its destination. In fact we suggest, AI should concede more: a bottle of champagne, every now and then maybe, as a mark of appreciation? Not many of us, after all, would want to be flown by a petulant pilot, agitated that his tantrums are not being taken seriously.