Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Air India pilots want reversal of pay cuts imposed during Covid-19

Air India pilots union, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has shot off a stern letter to its top management seeking reinstatement of pre-pandemic allowances that were discontinued as part of cost-cutting measures adopted in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter, addressed to Capt RS Sandhu, Director (Operations) at Air India reads, "We are glad that the management has acknowledged that there is an improvement in the Covid-19 Pandemic Situation while deciding to discontinue “full board.” Therefore, we call upon the management to discontinue “economy measures” introduced on the pretext of Covid-19 pandemic with immediate effect."

Recently, on September 30, the national carrier informed its employees that it was discontinuing "full board" services (three meal services during layovers) at all domestic stations as well as eleven countries that the airline flies to, except Israel.

The communication that India Today Television has seen read "From 01.10.2021, all the hotels in the above stations are to revert to the "Bed & Breakfast" contract/addendum. The same is to be instructed to all the contracted hotels in your region under intimation to the Finance Department and this office."

In view of this development, Air India pilots now want their allowances that were slashed in July 2020, with retrospective effect from 1 April 2020, to be restored. A batch of eleven different allowances, that form a bulk of the flying crew's salary was slashed. While Air India management pegged the cut at 40%, the airline's pilots claimed it amounted to 85% of their wages.

In its letter to the Air India management, ICPA has also sought reinstatement of its layover allowance outside India. "We cannot survive with the current payout on international soil with the discontinuation of “full board," said Capt T Praveen Keerthi, General Secretary, ICPA.

06/10/21 Poulomi Saha/India Today

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