In its bid to stem the exodus of the pilots of its Dreamliner fleet, national carrier Air India has asked them to sign a bond which would allow it to recover the training cost in case a pilot decides to quit the airline without serving it for at least five years.
Air India spends a whopping Rs 25-60 lakh on the training of each pilot who flies a Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
“We have asked these pilots, who have been trained by the airline at a huge cost to fly these planes, to sign the bond so that, when they leave, we can recover the training costs, which runs to between Rs 25-60 lakh per pilot,” a senior Air India official said.
The move comes in the wake of eight of AI’s Dreamliner pilots leaving the airline to join other carriers without serving the mandatory six-month notice period.
“We want to pre-empt any such move by the trained pilots in future,” the official said, adding, “We had sent the bond documents to the said pilots, but they refused to sign the same.”
“Three of the eight pilots, who had quit, have taken back their resignation,” the official added.
Air India currently has 21 Dreamliners in its fleet of aircraft and has, so far, trained 250 pilots, including those from the single-aisle planes, to enable them to fly these planes, since 2012, sources said.
While those who join the Dreamliner fleet from the wide- body planes (B-777s) are imparted a 4-5 week training, which costs around Rs 25 lakh per pilot, the flight crew coming from the narrow-body planes (A320 family) are given a three-month training at a whopping cost of Rs 80 lakh per pilot, the official added.