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Air India employees face salary cut from April

Pay cut: Airline hopes to save around Rs 260 crore annually from the move

Written by Mihir Mishra | New Delhi |
March 10, 2013 1:08:19 am

Starting April,employees of Air India will see a cut in their salaries. As the new fiscal year begins,a new payment rule,approved by the Cabinet,will kick in cutting up to 15 per cent salary of licenced category employees of Air India.

Pilots,engineers and cabin crew fall in the licenced category employees. But executive pilots will be the worst hit among them.

“The maximum cut post the new pay structure is 15 per cent that is in the salaries of executive pilots. But the new pay structure has a provision of paying more for pilots and that should be seen as an opportunity to offset the cut,” said a senior Air India official.

The new salary structure also includes no productivity-linked incentives for the airline staff and paying incentives on the basis of Department of Public Enterprise (DPE) guidelines. With this cut,the airline will be able to save around Rs 260 crore annually.

According to the new norms for the licenced category,the flying allowance paid to pilots will not be fixed but will depend on the number of hours a pilot flies. As of now,flying allowance of pilots from erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India are fixed at 72 and 80 hours,respectively. The pilots get extra if they fly more than their given hours.

Of the 1,400 pilots,350 are executive pilots.

An Air India official explained that linking the allowance with hours will help in increasing the efficiency of our pilots,especially executive pilots.

“None of our executive pilots fly more than 10 hours a month and get paid for 72 or 80 hours a month. They are the best we have in the airline and making them fly will help a lot in increasing our fleet utilisation,” he said.

The official also said that the new salary structure also rewards a pilots for flying more. “The flying allowance for pilots,who fly more than the stipulated 72 or 80 hours,will be 15 per cent more,” he further added.

Post the new payment structure pilots,who do not fly international,will have to take a cut in their sustenance allowance. Currently,every commander gets $2,200 and every co-pilot gets $1,600 as sustenance allowance every month.

The official,however,explained that the cut is not much in the case of engineers and cabin crew.

“The Cabinet has approved a fixed incentive of up to Rs 1,50,000 per month for engineers,which will more or less offset their cut,” said the official.

On expected lines,the pilots say that this will lead to pilots leaving the airline and joining other airlines,including the new airline proposed by AirAsia.

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