Sunday, October 15, 2023

Strained relations between Air India’s senior pilots & management: A deep dive into issues

New Delhi: India's aviation industry has been experiencing a resurgence, with air traffic reaching new highs and a promising outlook for pilots who weathered the storm of the pandemic. However, beneath the surface, a less rosy picture emerges as the relationship between pilots and airline management becomes increasingly strained, particularly within Air India, which underwent a change in ownership almost two years ago.

Since Tata Sons took over Air India, the relationship between the airline's pilots and the new management has hit an all-time low. It is no secret that senior pilots have often struggled to find a sense of belonging within the organisations they serve, given the unique nature of their profession.

Senior pilots within Air India have been vocal about their grievances, frequently sharing their concerns on platforms like WhatsApp. Insiders suggest that this diminishing status of pilots and crew members has been a deliberate tactic aimed at alienating these critical staff.

However, insiders from within the airline allege that senior pilots were displaced from their high-ranking roles, including positions like Chief of Operations, which subsequently ignited a conflict with the management.

While Tata management has concentrated on the aesthetics and quality of service, there appears to be a pressing need to address deeper issues within the organisation.

Sources from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA), assert that Tata should have replaced the old management team with a fresh one soon after taking control. The retained management, with their existing ways of doing things, is viewed as a destabilising influence, continuing to fuel the infighting within the airline.

Air India has long suffered from the existence of factional camps, each often motivated by self-interest rather than the airline's well-being.

Retaining the old management has inadvertently perpetuated these divisions, intensifying the adversarial relationship between different employee groups and management.

Many insiders with decades of experience argue that internal dynamics have deteriorated since privatisation, with little to show in terms of improving the airline's product, financial performance, or work environment.

15/10/2023 Daijiworld

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