Air India is set to upgrade its crew rostering system as part of its ambitious plans to merge its low-cost carriers and full-service carriers. The airline aims to complete this transformative process over the next few months, with more than 500 new crew members set to join the workforce, Wilson Campbell, the Managing Director and CEO of Air India, said.

In a recent announcement, Campbell expressed his enthusiasm for the forthcoming changes. “This is a complete transformation of the way Air India rosters our crew,” Campbell stated. He highlighted the incorporation of cutting-edge technology and capabilities in the system, emphasising its significant investment and the multitude of benefits it brings.

Control over schedule

As the system stabilises throughout the remainder of 2023, Air India plans to introduce additional features, including the ability to swap flights and register flight or layover preferences. This will enable crew members to have greater control over their schedules and accommodate their individual preferences.

Simultaneously, Air India is focused on expanding its workforce to bolster its operations. With over 500 new crew members set to join each month, the airline will be able to reinstate full crew complements and expedite training processes.

In line with its future-oriented approach, Air India, now owned by Tata, has also recently announced a monumental order of 470 aircraft with Boeing and Airbus. The airline plans to hire over 4,200 cabin crew trainees and 900 pilots this year, as it envisions rapid expansion in domestic and international operations, it had said in May.

Also read: Evaluation Overhaul. Air India to revamp employment contracts and compensation for non-flying staff: Campbell Wilson

Jeppesen-built rosters

One of the key improvements is the introduction of the new crew pairing module, which is scheduled to go live across fleets in August. The implementation of Jeppesen-built rosters is expected to enhance the overall efficiency and stability of the crew scheduling process. Crew members can look forward to earlier roster publications, more stable schedules, improved integrity of “golden offs” (days off requested by crew members), and better standby provisioning to reduce last-minute call-ups. Moreover, the system aims to provide more equitable earnings for crew members over a few months’ period.

Furthermore, Air India has recently unveiled a new compensation structure for pilots and cabin crew. Both categories will receive a guaranteed flying allowance of 40 hours per month. The airline had also revamped the contracts.

The airline was facing slight resistance from its employees because of Jeppesen. According to the cabin crew, the system was not taking into consideration of the fatigue and flying hours.

In a video circulated internally amongst Air India employees, the team has assured the crew that over the next few months, the rostering system, will smooth out. The employees was also given an assurance that their suggestions were taken into consideration.