To operate the airline’s long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights, according to two pilot unions at Air India, there is a pilot shortage.
The unions explained in a joint letter to Air India’s chief human resources officer Suresh Dutt Tripathi on December 13 that “CMS (crew management system) does not have standby pilots, hence we are unable to maintain the printed planned roster due to a pilot shortage.”
The problems brought up by the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) and Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) also relate to recent flight cancellations and reschedulings to and from THE North American region by the Tatas-owned airline due to a crew shortage.
Air India didn’t immediately comment on the letter.
The airline’s decision to hire foreign pilots for the Boeing 777 aircraft at a CTC (price to firm) that is “at least 80% more with much higher leave benefits than what is being paid to its long-serving pilots” has also been questioned.
IPG represents pilots of wide-body aircraft, while ICPA represents these pilots of operational narrow-body aircraft.
“The management has gradually but significantly increased the flying schedule since early 2022. The letter noted that “the under-crewed pilot staff eagerly supported these expansion plans by accepting frequent roster changes and pullouts, even on off days.
In January of this year, the Tata Group acquired the losing Air India, and since then, it has been working to expand its business portfolio in addition to its fleet.
“Despite management’s public denials of the claims of a crew shortage, the truth is plain to see. Pilots have flown well over 90 hours every month in a row on all fleets, but especially on the 777 fleets, it was noted. The regulatory FDTL (Flight Duty Time Limitation) may have been undercut, they claimed, “more frequently than not, the timetable is handled, keeping the paperwork in order… By contacting regulatory authorities, we will be compelled to take action to put an end to this.
Additionally, the pilots’ unions have indicated that the airline is only about to reinstate some elements of the pay structure that were in place before to the coronavirus outbreak. “We have helped Air India reach the top spot in the rankings for on-time performance, but the management has shown no gratitude. A corporation with such significant development aspirations ought to have at the very least reinstated the pre-Covid overtime rates, it argued.
- Apparently, there are not enough pilots working for Air India
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