Air India temporarily suspends about 200 employees on contract

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 03, 2020

Air India has temporarily suspended the contracts of about 200 of its employees, including 55 pilots, some cabin crew and some general category employees. This comes on the day the pilots’ association wrote to the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Rajiv Bansal, saying that the arbitrary pay cut on allowances amidst the Covid-19 pandemic went against what Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other government organisations have said.

Sources in the state-owned airline said that the contracts of those who had been re-employed were being terminated in an attempt to cut down on costs. In the case of pilots who were on post retirement contract, it has been decided not to rooster them for flights from April 1. How long the temporary suspension will last has not been defined.

Pointing out that the flying crew of the airline feels immensely “let down by the self-serving approach” of the Executive Management Committee in the name of cost cutting, the pilots’ letter pointed out that “this is not in line with the Prime Minister's address to the nation on March 19 in which he has categorically appreciated the selfless service of airline crew members who have been pivotal in bringing back stranded citizens from around the world. He had also appealed to act in a humane manner and urged the employers not to enforce pay cut on employees.”

Air India, like many other domestic airlines, had already initiated cost-cutting measures as entire fleets of airlines in the country have been grounded since March 24. The grounding will last till at least April 14. This means that all the 650 aircraft registered with domestic scheduled airlines like Vistara, Air India, AirAsia and GoAir are currently not doing any commercial flying.

This comes amid the entire global airlines facing a loss in excess of $250 billion during the year, according to the International Air Transport Industry estimates.

Published on April 03, 2020

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