Thursday, June 18, 2020

Air India might reduce 70 hours fixed flying allowance for pilots

New Delhi: We are in the middle of June with close to 3.70 lakh coronavirus cases in the country. The lockdown was imposed in March to save lives but it impacted the monthly payslips. The situation for the employees of national carrier Air India was no different. 10 per cent salary cut was announced from March onwards, as during national lockdown the air travel remained suspended too. But now debt-ridden Air India is exploring other options to reduce its cost. Air India is planning to reduce the guaranteed flying hours, on the basis of which allowance is paid, from 70 to 30-35 hours for pilots.

Air India pilots are entitled to guaranteed 70 hours of flying allowance along with overtime apart from the basic pay. A senior Air India official on the condition of anonymity told Times Now, 'A proposal to reduce guaranteed 70 hours of flying allowance has been sent to Ministry of Civil Aviation. The proposal is to bring it down to 30 - 35 flying hours.' This can significantly bring down the monthly salary of pilots with Air India. Flying allowance constitutes almost 70% of the salary of a pilot.

This pandemic is turning out to be quite cruel for the civil aviation sector. For pilots & crew members, no or very little flying to pay cuts and now the Air India management is mulling a reduction in allowances as well. Indian Commercial Pilots Association, ICPA in a meeting last week told Air India management that payment on actual flying hours will not be accepted. Capt. T. Praveen Keerthi, General Secretary, ICPA told Times Now, 'We are ready for a pay cut but it should happen across the board.' ICPA's demand is that every employee of the airline irrespective of the grade should impart a percentage cut on gross emoluments towards cost-cutting. This move to target the flying allowance would further burden the pilots. Air India officially refused to comment on this issue. On Times Now's query about the proposal, Air India spokesperson said, 'We wouldn't like to make any comment.'
18/06/20 Heena Gambhir/
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