AI to pay pilots for hours flown after airmen write to Minister

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 23, 2020 Published on July 23, 2020

60 pilots test positive for coronavirus

Air India took to Twitter late Thursday evening to say that the flying crew will be paid as per the actual number of hours flown.

“As domestic and international operations expand to reach pre-Covid levels and the financial position of AI improves, the rationalisation of allowances will be reviewed,” the airlines said in a tweet.

The airline’s response on Twitter came hours after its Executive Pilots wrote to Hardeep Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, “to revisit and rescind” some “negligent decisions to change our service conditions and wages” so that the future of Air India “can be charted through constructive dialogues and collaborative decision making.”

In a four-page letter to the Minister, the Pilots Association points out that flying for the Vande Bharat Mission saw 60 pilots of Air India contract the virus.

‘Discriminatory steps’

“It is requested that grave risks being taken by the Air India pilots and their families to keep this airline afloat are recognised and such desperate, short-sighted and discriminatory measures that are being resorted to, in order to look at short-term solutions to tide over the precarious fiscal situation are rescinded,” the letter states.

The pilots were unhappy about the AI management’s recent decision adopting the compulsory leave without pay (LWP) model as well as the massive wage cut in employees /pilots’ emoluments. The letter points out that pilots have been paid their basic pay (for June 2020) and flying related allowances (applicable for April 2020) were unilaterally imposed and brutal pay cuts applied with retrospective effect from April 1 this year “that appear to be discriminatory, disproportionate and arbitrary,” with an approximately 70 to 75 per cent reduction in the total monthly emoluments specifically applicable to pilots,” the letter said.

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Published on July 23, 2020
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