'AI to soon harmonise salaries of pilots of its two fleets'

'AI to soon harmonise salaries of pilots of its two fleets'

 National carrier Air India is in the process of rationalising salaries of the pilots of its narrow-body fleet, who are currently paid less as compared to the pilots flying wide-body aircraft.

At present, the difference in the emoluments of the two type of pilots varies between Rs 50,000-1,50,000.

"We are in the process of harmonising the wages of the pilots of the two fleets -- the narrow-body and wide-body planes. We are confident of completing the exercise soon," a senior Air India official told PTI today.

Refuting reports that some of its narrow-body pilots, who are now flying the wide-body Boeing 787-800 after training, have quit the airline because of the disparity in pay packets, the official said, the discussions to bring parity are already "under way".

Recent media reports had said that some Air India B787 pilots were resigning due to the existing difference in the salary packages of the two types of pilots.

The management has only received a representation from pilots belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines (narrow body) and flying B787s, that their salary should equated with pilots of the Air India's wide body fleet, as they now fly the same plane - the B787 Dreamliner, the official said.

The then Indian Airlines, which has Airbus 319, 320 and 321 fleet, was merged with Air India into one single entity Air India Ltd in 2007.
The official said so far Air India has trained some 100 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines to enable them operate Dreamliner planes.

Interestingly, this was the major trigger for the two-month old strike at the carrier in 2012 as the pilots' body of the wide-body planes, Indian Pilots Guild (which now stands derecognised) had opposed the deployment of narrow-body fleet pilots on the Boeing 787-800s.

The company has spent huge training cost on conversion of narrow-body pilots to B787 and is already working on ensuring pay parity for the narrow-body pilots, who fly wide-body aircraft, which will be implemented after the approvals are in place, the official said.

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