Air India pilots on Sunday alleged that the cash-strapped airline was insuring grounded aircraft at an annual cost of $6 million, a charge denied by the company.
The state-run airline’s recognised pilots union, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), has sought an independent probe into these allegations and fix the accountability on individuals those responsible.
“Six Boeing 737-200 Fs, which have been out of service for more than three years, were still being insured at $1 million each per annum or $ 6 million, for more than the past three years. We demand an immediate, time-bound investigation by an external agency to look into this huge financial irregularity,” ICPA general secretary Shailender Singh said in a letter to Air India chairman Rohit Nandan.
Terming the ICPA’s allegations as “false, mischievous and misleading”, an Air India spokesperson said five Boeing 737-200 were insured at only $1 million last year and $50,000 this year. “Since the aircraft are still under Air India’s registration”.
“The premium that is being paid on each of these aircraft was $145 last year and $90 this year,” the spokesperson said.
“It is highly regrettable that a responsible association like ICPA is making such baseless allegations which sadly reflects on their credibility and understanding of the aviation business,” he added.