Chairman and Managing Director of Air India Ashwani Lohani on Monday warned “mischievous” elements attempting to “sabotage the progress of Air India” of “exemplary disciplinary action”.
In a letter issued on Monday, Lohani noted that recently, there have been cases of delays or cancellations of flights due to indiscipline by a small section of pilots.
“Such instances, besides resulting in loss of revenue, also cause tremendous inconveniences to passengers; besides, lowering the image of the organisation. Such acts, especially at this juncture when all of us are making efforts together to achieve a turnaround in the organisation and also focusing on employee welfare, are just not acceptable,” he said.
Such attempts at sabotaging the progress of Air India and also instigation by mischievous elements shall not be tolerated under any circumstances, and employees responsible for the same shall be liable for exemplary disciplinary action,” the CMD warned the entire Air India family.
The warning came in the wake of increasing tussles between the Air India management and pilots union, following which the CMD called a high-level meeting on Sunday to tackle pilots’ behaviour.
On Sunday, the management decided if pilots would call a mass strike, the management would take strict action against them and their union.
Well-placed sources with AI told ANI that the management had yesterday decided if pilots proceed on a mass-strike, the authorities would suspend the protesting pilots immediately.
AI spokesperson, however, said, “At the meeting, it was decided that the management would not tolerate anymore anti-Air India element in the organisation and warned the employees to stay away from anti-Air India employees.”
Earlier in August, the Indian Commercial Pilots Union (ICPA) wrote a letter to the management about their ‘Flight Duty Time Limitation’ (FDTL) and pending allowances, and demanded a week-off after 144 hours instead of 168 hours of flying.
In this regard they also cited the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) norms, which says the crew will take a week-off after completing flight time 144 hours and before 168 hours.
Sources also said the pilots are planning to go on a mass strike over FDTL and pending allowance issues.
The ICPA was not available for comments.