Air India will now allow its pilots to fly until the age of 65, in line with the recent directives of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Previously, the retirement age of pilots at Air India was 58.
The move also comes since the airline in considering “future expansion plans” of its fleet, the company said in its internal circular on policy on post-retirement engagement for pilots.
Airlines across the globe generally allow their pilots to fly till the age of 65. The policy maintains that the Tata-owned airline will retain its current trained pilots at Air India post-retirement on a contractual basis for five years, “extendable to 65 years”.
The carrier has issued a workforce policy as it plans to expand its fleet.
“Considering the future expansion plans for our fleet, it is imperative to meet our workforce requirement for pilots. DGCA allows pilots to fly till the age of 65 years, compared to the Air India’s retirement age of 58 years. Allowing pilots to fly till the age of 65 is a practice followed by most airlines in the industry,” said the circular by the Air India’s Chief Human Resources Officer.
Air India will also set up a committee to screen pilots to determine the “eligibility of pilots reitiring in the next two years”.
The committee will comprise functional representatives of the HR, operations and flight safety segments. It will also be responsible for reviewing the past records of the pilots, with respect to discipline, flight safety and vigilance. Post the review, the committee will recommend shortlisted names to the CHRO for “issuing post retirement contracts”.
Pilots will receive a letter of intent for post-retirement engagement one year before retiring.
The contracts so issued will be for a five year period and extendable upto the age of 65. Post-retirement contracts will include a clause for annual review of the contract on the basis of performance, conduct and flight safety records.
On completion of five years, a “comprehensive examination of their performance will be considered for further extension till 65 years”. “This will be reviewed by the constituted committee,” said the circular.
For air entry passes and for the company identity cards purposes, the pilots’ application forms will have their date of retirement “as and when they achieve the age of 65”, so that there can be timely renewal and issuance of these passes at the time of post retirement engagement, the circular added.