Air India Pilot Bodies Reject Revamped Compensation, Asks Members Not To Sign Structure

Pilot bodies at Tata Group-owned Air India have asked their members not to accept or sign revised terms and conditions days after the management came out with a revamped compensation structure for its flight and cockpit crew, as per a joint communication of the two unions. According to union sources, Air India has unilaterally changed the condition without consulting the pilots and alleged that they are trying to make all senior pilots executive and thus kill the unions.

Under the new structure, salaries have been hiked for more than 2,700 pilots across Air India and AIX Connect (including Air Asia India and Air India Express) as well as over 5,600 Air India’s cabin crew, as per an April 17 internal circular. Moreover, following the revision, the guaranteed flying allowance component has been doubled from the current 20 hours to 40 hours.

However, it remained much lower compared to the pre-pandemic period when Air India pilots were entitled to a guaranteed 70 hours of flying. The two unions — Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), according to the communication on Wednesday, held a joint meeting on April 18 to discuss the issue.

“The members expressed their views and anguish on the unfair terms and conditions that are being imposed on the members. The IPG and ICPA committees are in the process of finalising the further course of action, taking into account the member’s suggestions,” the two unions informed their members in a joint communication on Wednesday.

“In the meantime, we would like to reiterate to all members not to accept/ sign the revised terms and conditions,” it said. A query sent to Air India did not elicit any response. “Air India has unilaterally changed the condition without consulting the pilots. They are also trying to make all senior pilots as executives and thus kill the unions,” a source told PTI.

As per the circular, a large number of senior pilots, who have flown for four or more years as commanders, will be promoted to the senior commander rank, giving them instant inclusion into the management cadre with extra allowance for executive duties. It may be noted here that the management or executive pilots can’t join a union.