Group of Air India pilots threatens to go on strike

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Old 24-Nov-2011
Group of Air India pilots threatens to go on strike

Mumbai: More than 600 Air India pilots, owing allegiance to the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA), have threatened to go on an indefinite strike after November 30, if the Civil Aviation Ministry fails to implement the interim settlement reached with their association in May this year.

In a letter written to Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi, ICPA's central president Capt A.S. Bhinder yesterday reminded the minister about the ministry's failure to implement the agreement reached between its officials and ICPA representatives. As part of the agreement, the Air India management was to implement parity in pay and allowances and other conditions by the end of November.

Following the agreement, reached between the two sides, the ICPA had withdrawn its 10-day strike on May 6, this year.

Bhinder said that although November 30 is deadline for the airline management to implement its promises, the Civil Aviation Ministry had not done anything.

While Justice D.M. Dharmadhikari (retired), appointed to look into the ICPA pilots' demands, had not come out with its report within the stipulated six months, the Civil Aviation Ministry had not implemented the parity in pay and allowances and other working conditions for pilots of the erstwhile airlines (Indian Airlines and Air India) which have now been merged into a single entity.

According to Bhinder, the ICPA's demand for interim payment of fixed monthly flying allowance along with fixed layover subsistence allowance had not been taken up by the ministry.


"The ministry appears to have failed to refer the matter to the [Dharmadhikari] Committee," Bhinder said in his letter to Ravi.

"Thirdly, despite assurance made by the ministry, the monthly utilisation of the pilots in the winter schedule (2011-12) on Airbus A-320 fleet remains 52 hours per pilot. Fourthly, the expat pilots continue to fly B-777 aircraft…. On one hand, ICPA members are underutilised and on the other, B-777 continues to be manned by expats. This is completely against the interests of the company," Bhinder stated.

Old 24-Nov-2011
Saini Sa'aB
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