Air India pilots’ association (ICPA) has claimed that the airline has removed their weekly off in the latest fortnightly duty roster, saying that such a move creates a “perfect concoction for another disaster to happen as a stressed pilot is unsafe in the cockpit”.
In a strongly-worded letter, the ICPA also said the carrier has adopted a confrontational attitude jeopardising flight safety and violated norms.
ICPA represents around 750 pilots who operate narrow-body planes and are from erstwhile Indian Airlines.
“It is evident through your actions that you are deliberately trying to instigate ICPA towards industrial unrest by violating the DGCA-approved AI FDTL scheme by issuing a revised roster removing the planned weekly off which was printed in the initial roster,” the association said.
It has directed its members to consider all non-printed (blank days) days in CMS (Crew Management System) roster as off days till such time CMS prints planned weekly off as per AI FDTL (Flight Duty Time Limitation) scheme.
“We record our strong objection to your inhumane act of not planning weekly off in CMS roster. Instead of addressing our genuine concern by correcting the shortcomings in CMS you have adopted a confrontational attitude jeopardising flight safety and blatantly violating AI FDTL scheme,” it noted.
In the letter, addressed to Air India’s Executive Director for Operations on Wednesday, ICPA said, “we will not accept any further revised roster from CMS uless it is with printed weekly off”.
“We would like you to explain as to how a pilot will take care of the needs of his/her family which may also include medical requirements for ailing, elderly family members if no weekly off as planned. You are creating a perfect concoction for another disaster to happen as a stressed pilot is unsafe in the cockpit,” the letter said.