'AI pilot dues being cleared regularly'

'AI pilot dues being cleared regularly'

Refuting claims of a section of Air India pilots regarding delayed salary payments, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Monday said they were getting their dues on a regular basis.

“Their salaries may be a few months late, but for many months they are getting paid regularly. They are being paid salaries regularly for the past five-six months. They are being paid every month now,” Singh told reporters here.

A senior ministry officer later claimed that salary backlog till August has been cleared .
The minister was replying to questions raised by the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), comparing their financial condition with the Kingfisher Airlines employees.
Singh also said he had not received any letter on the issue from ICPA, which claimed to have sent a communication to him.

Air India has a total of 1,400 pilots of which about 600 owe allegiance to ICPA.
The ICPA had sought Singh’s intervention in resolving their grievances regarding pending salaries and allowances, saying that “matters at Air India were not too different from the Kingfisher Airlines.”

“Our salaries and flying allowances too are pending for months and the uncertainty regarding the schedule of payments has become unbearable,” ICPA general secretary Captain T Praveen Keerthi said in the letter.

“An unsatisfied employee cannot keep up efficiency for long as his financial worries take over his thoughts. A stressed pilot is a potential disaster in waiting,” Keerthi said, adding that an AI engineer had committed suicide last year due to financial worries.