Tata Group-owned Air India has come with a plan for pilots. The airline has offered to re-hire pilots after their retirement for a period of five years, the PTI reported.
According to the report, Air India looks for stability in operations amid talk of acquiring 300 single-aisle planes, according to an internal communication and for that the airline is considering re-hiring these pilots as commanders, it said.
A senior official of Air India said the airline has sought the consent of retired pilots for such a job. Air India has sent the communication to the pilots who retired up to three years ago, the official said.
This development comes in the mid of a voluntary retirement scheme that Air India rolled out its employees, including cabin crew, and at the same time recruiting the fresh blood in the once-state-run carrier as well.
The report mentioned in any airline pilots are the most-expensive asset and get paid the highest compared to other key roles such as cabin crew and aircraft maintenance engineers.
Moreover, shortage of adequately trained pilots in the domestic aviation industry has always been an issue. “We are pleased to inform you are being considered for post-retirement contract as commander in Air India for a period of 5 years or till you attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier,” Air India Deputy General Manager for Personnel, Vikas Gupta, said in an internal mail.
“During the period of post-retirement contract, you will be paid the remuneration and flying allowances, as admissible, as per policy of Air India to such appointments,” he said.
Interested pilots have been told to submit their details along with a written consent by June 23, the mail stated.
The retirement age for pilots in Air India is 58 like all other employees of the airline. Before the pandemic, Air India used to re-hire its retired pilots on contract but the practice was discontinued after late March 2020. The contracts of such pilots were also terminated to partially offset the impact of the pandemic.
However, pilots at other private airlines fly until they reach the age of 65 years.
Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27 this year after successfully winning the bid for the airline in October last year.