Thursday, December 21, 2017

17 of Air India's best pilots to be off the sky this Winter

Divestment-bound national carrier Air India has sent a batch of 17 senior A320 pilots -- who are trained for critical low-visibility operations -- for Boeing command course in the midst of the foggy season, a move that has raised questions.
The decision has led to a severe shortage of senior pilots who are trained for low-visibility operations and they are required to be deployed on the northern routes during the winter season.
According to an airline source privy to the development, the move raises questions as these pilots are critical to winter operations in the North. Even after completion of the ground course, these pilots would have to wait for at least five to six months to get simulator training as there is already a huge backlog now, the source said.

"These senior A320 commanders are CAT-II/III qualified pilots, but have been sent to do their ground classes, which will go for about two months, for B787 flying in the thick of the winter."
"Air India was reluctant to send them, but when the pressure came from a Union minister, who has nothing to with the aviation sector, the airline had to give in," the source told PTI.

Further, the source said one of the pilots among the 17 is close to the Union minister and wanted the minister to intervene to get the command training on the wide-body plane.
The CAT-III-B narrow-body fleet commanders have been sent to the Central Training Establishment in Hyderabad for a two- month ground classes on Boeing Dreamliners amid the foggy season, the source said.
21/12/17 PTI/Economic Times