Air India extends more time for pilot contracts amid Union opposition
Air India extends more time for pilot contracts amid Union opposition

NEW DELHI:  Flag carrier Air India has agreed to extend the deadline for pilots to accept the revised compensation structure, despite facing opposition from two unions, the source said.

This development comes after  Air India hosted a town hall meeting on May 4 where the concerns of several pilots were addressed. Approximately 800 pilots who had not yet consented to the new compensation scheme were present at the meeting, according to the sources. The meeting was presided over by Air India's CEO, Captain Rajwinder Singh Sandhu, who is also a pilot. 

The airline has given the pilots till the end of this week to sign the new contracts in response to demands from the pilots, who had earlier rejected the amended compensation structure.

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), two pilot unions, met jointly on Tuesday to go through the airline's updated compensation plan.

A large number of pilots remained unwavering in their decision to refuse to sign the new contracts. The airline has agreed to extend the time limit for pilots to make a decision regarding the new contracts in light of the ongoing discussions and issues brought up by the pilots.

The original deadline for accepting the amended compensation system was set for April 30, but the extended deadline now gives pilots till the end of this week to make their decision.

The unions held a joint virtual conference with each other's members to discuss the new service terms and choose the next steps.
"The aim of this meeting was to discuss the revised compensation structure in detail and determine the future course of action," added the sources. The revised compensation structure that the airline had proposed was rejected on April 19 by the ICPA and IPG.

The main point of disagreement is the pilots' perception that the new structure is unfair because it reduces their monthly flying allotment from 70 hours to 40 hours.

If the management implements the new terms without their approval, the two unions have threatened "industrial unrest" as a result.

Air India has taken a harsh stance on the matter, claiming that there are "no recognised unions in Air India" despite its declaration that it will "continue to engage with the remainder of its staff." The pilots' union has advised its members to disregard the management's new employment policies and pay scale.

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