Pilots body puts forth 2 demands

K. Giriprakash Bangalore | Updated on May 17, 2011 Published on April 29, 2011

The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) of Air India has put forth two demands regarding fixed allowances while not seeking to press for several other demands following the setting up of a panel to review their grievances.

In a letter to Air India, ICPA, which consists of around 560 pilots belonging to Indian Airlines which later merged with Air India, said the airline management should grant 75 hours fixed flying allowance per month as well as layover subsistence allowances of $1,600 for P1 (commander) and $1,300 for P2 (co-pilot) as these demands are part of pay parity.

The letter dated April 26, a copy of which is with Business Line, says anything less than the fulfilment of these demands is not acceptable to them.

A group of pilots belonging to ICPA said Air India pilots who get to fly international routes are given fixed allowance for 80 hours even if they fall short of flying those number of hours while Indian Airlines pilots do not have such fixed flying hours and hence do not earn as much salary.

A commander flying Indian Airlines aircraft which only flies on domestic routes as well as to certain neighbouring countries gets to clock just 55-60 hours and a co-pilot gets to fly slightly over 40 hours thereby denying them salaries which are on par with Air India pilots, the ICPA member said.

The ICPA members said that the pilots should be given salaries and allowances for fixed flying hours between 75 and 80 hours a month and hence pay parity along with Air India pilots. They have also pointed out that Air India has withdrawn from several “lucrative” routes and hence pilots belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines have been affected the most.

“We are hurt the most even though we have had no role to play,” a member of the association said.

They also claimed that they had made several proposals to the airline management for reducing costs, one of which was to deploy A320s to fly on the London routes which could lead to saving of Rs 10 lakh a flight. Air India flies thrice to London every day and hence the total savings could be as much as Rs 60 lakh a day.

“It is up to the management to end the deadlock. We are not made to feel that we belong to the airline,” the pilots said.

The airline pilots also said that they had suggested that running time of each aircraft should be increased per route in order to save fuel. They pointed out that besides pay parity many promises had been made after the merger with Air India, but most of them had not been kept.

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Published on April 29, 2011
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