Two unions representing pilots of Air India, Air India Express and Alliance Air have written to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, exhorting that flight Safety and the working conditions of the pilots of Air India group companies cannot be seen in isolation. “The recently imposed policies implemented by the Air India Board imposing steep, disproportionate and retrospective pay cuts specifically targeting pilots across Air India as well as Air India Express and Alliance Air are one such example,” a joint letter sent to Puri by the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association and Indian Pilots’ Guild on Thursday read.
Incidentally, just two days before the crash of an Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode on August 7, which resulted in deaths of 18 people including two pilots, the airline announced organisation-wide pay cuts citing a steep fall in revenues on account of Covid-19 pandemic. While the salary cuts for pilots and cabin crew ranged between 10-50 per cent, those for ground employees such as managers, senior managers right up till the CEO ranged between 5-7.5 per cent.
“Our pilots are constantly facing the challenges of COVID-19, monsoon weather, ill designed Flight Duty Time Limitations, several extensions and dispensations given by the DGCA. Trying to burden the frontline workers with massive pay cuts to safeguard the Salaries and Perks of Senior Management add an extra undesirable dimension to the equation,” the pilots’ unions wrote in the letter.
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