Air India pilots have questioned the government’s move to penalise airline’s employees for any flight delay by way of cutting salary and said it will create an “unsafe” environment in the carrier.
“This futile exercise is going to be detrimental to flight safety as employees directly involved with the departure of a flight will try to cut corners in the safety practices in order to avoid delays,” said Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) in a letter to the management.
It said it does “appreciate” the efforts made by the Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation to fix accountability for the delays, “But are the employees responsible for the present state of the airline??.”
In an order last week, the government had directed Air India management to cut up to 10 per cent salary of an employee, if he is found responsible for any flight delay.
“We request you to communicate to the Secretary, MOCA to first fix accountability for delay in salaries of our employees,” the Association said.
This was in the context of the 22,000 employees of the national carrier being paid salary on February 4 and 5, as against the stipulated last day of a month.
Alleging that the delays were primarily occurring due to the mismanagement at the airline, the ICPA questioned as to why the Government has so far not acted on a parliamentary panel findings in this regard.
“We know there is an acute shortage of pilots and our innocent passengers are paying dearly for the delays on daily basis but no recruitment of pilots has taken place in years. This is a pure case of mismanagement,” the Association said.