AI pilots union oppose hiring of commanders on contract

AI pilots union oppose hiring of commanders on contract

 Air India pilots' today opposed the hiring of commanders on contractual basis from open market for the national carrier's Airbus A320 fleet when a good number of regular co-pilots were awaiting to go up the ladder.

The union of Air India pilots, Indian Commercial Pilot's Association (ICPA) also termed the move as "dent on their morale" and demanded immediate withdrawal of the advertisement failing which, it said, could trigger industrial action.

The ICPA, in a letter to airline Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nanadan, has urged for a uniform carrier progression for the pilots.

They have also sent the copies of the letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Secretary Civil Aviation and Chief Labour Commissioner, New Delhi among others.
"We are aghast by your continuous and relentless efforts in denting our morale, for what else explains this latest advertisement of contractual direct hiring of A-320 captains, when we have sufficient in-house experience and infrastructure to train co-pilots who are long due for career progression as Commanders. They have been desperately waiting to see some 'acche din'," the ICPA letter said.

"We, therefore, demand a logical/unified career progression policy for the merged entity and withdrawal of this advertisement, which has the potential of creating industrial unrest, and restart the command training of our in house co-pilots who have been groomed and waiting for their chance to become Captains," the Association said.
Stating that the ICPA has long been demanding for a unified career progression policy so as to benefit from the combined pool of pilots in Air India by optimum use, the   letter said, "Our first officer's who have been with the airline in the most testing times and have shown loyalty all throughout deserve to be upgraded to commanders as part of a unified career policy and any attempt to para-drop contractual pilots from outside will be gross injustice to the pilot cadre of Air India."

Alleging that some 150 pilots have already quit the national airline in the recent past, the ICPA said,"We can say with some conviction that they were actually driven away by such indifferent attitude."

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