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  1. Air India refutes pilots body’s claims, says junior pilots not exploited

Air India refutes pilots body’s claims, says junior pilots not exploited

Air India has dismissed Indian Commercial Pilots Association’s (ICPA) claim that the airline pays its junior pilots...

By: | New Delhi | Updated: May 9, 2015 10:49 AM
Air India pilots

Air India has dismissed Indian Commercial Pilots Association’s (ICPA) claim that the airline pays its junior pilots on an ad hoc basis, doesn’t pay them for domestic night stops, forces them to fly overtime and does not grant them leave, causing illness.

Air India has dismissed Indian Commercial Pilots Association’s (ICPA) claim that the airline pays its junior pilots on an ad hoc basis, doesn’t pay them for domestic night stops, forces them to fly overtime and does not grant them leave, causing illness. ICPA had written to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on the issue, marking a copy to Air India, last month.

ICPA had highlighted that 40-45 junior pilots at Air India were under stress because being ad hoc, they got a third of the salary. Besides, one fine day, the airline management had “unilaterally” changed the terms of employment for co-pilots. The letter was sent to DGCA just a few days after a German pilot (suffering depression) crashed a Lufthansa plane in the French Alps, killing 150.

Civil aviation ministry officials, however,  say even ad hoc pilots are well remunerated even though they haven’t signed the contract issued in 2012. At the time of recruitment, many trainee pilots were given a commercial pilot licence by the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy. Air India had issued contracts to these pilots.

Ad hoc pilots are being paid approximately Rs 1.50 lakh per month. As per the contract issued, a pilot should get Rs 1.82 lakh for flying 72 hours, but ad hoc pilots are flying 60.35 hours on average, far below the contractual guidelines.

“If the DGCA guidelines are taken, a regular pilot can fly up to 1,000 hours in a year, which means 84 hours a month,” the officials said.

The officials said these pilots have not yet accepted the contracts, almost three years after issuance. “Once they accept the contracts they will get all benefits under the terms and conditions mentioned,” they said.

In July2012, Air India had decided that all pilots recruited henceforth will have contracts. The contract specifies pay scale, provident fund, other allowances, gratuity and leave.

The contracts were given for a five-year period, extendable by another five, subject to satisfactory payments. The contracts are for narrow-bodied A-320 aircraft.

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* Air India has dismissed Indian Commercial Pilots Association’s claim that the airline pays its junior pilots on an ad hoc basis, doesn’t pay them for domestic night stops, forces them to fly overtime and does not grant them leave

* Civil aviation ministry officials say even ad hoc pilots are well remunerated even though they haven’t signed the contract issued in 2012

* Ad hoc pilots are being paid approximately R1.50 lakh per month. As per the contract, a pilot should get R1.82 lakh for flying 72 hours, but ad hoc pilots are flying 60.35 hours on average

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