Air India pilots flying Airbus A320 or narrow-body aircraft have decided not to operate additional flights and only follow their roster, which is the schedule that attendants and pilots follow, from Thursday. The decision comes after the pilots were not paid their flying allowances for October and November, which constitute to 80% of their salaries.
Currently, pilots are made to operate additional flights in case of emergency or last minute changes. On Wednesday, erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots guild, Indian Commercial pilots Guild (ICPA), wrote a letter to Air India chairman and managing director Pradeep Kharola stating that they will not be operating flights that are not listed on their roster.
The pilots’ association said they will start observing ‘flight safety week’ from Thursday by operating only roster flights in the interest of crew members and passengers.
Hindustan Times tried contacting Air India but there was no response.
Pilots said despite several requests in the past to not bifurcate salary and flying allowance for pilots, the airline management has ignored them. “There is already a backlog of one month flying allowance. This unspecified delay in flying allowance has impaired our financial planning and credentials. Especially defaulting on EMI loan cost to pay and family commitments,” stated the letter.
The letter read, “This has put a lot of stress on the pilots… This financial problem has made it extremely difficult to work stress-free. Stress jeopardizes decision-making relevance and cognitive functioning which is fatal to flight safety.” The letter further read, “Physiological stress leads to emotional factors such as financial worries. Time and again studies have established that emotional factors are repeatedly present in aircraft accidents.”
First Published: Dec 13, 2018 13:41 IST
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