New Delhi: Executive pilots of Air India, who are stressed due to operating flights on truncated international routes in the absence of striking colleagues, today pressed the management to end the impasse and reinstate their sacked colleagues.
A group of executive pilots held a meeting with Air India CMD Rohit Nandan and make efforts to end the 44-day-old strike.
“We have said to the CMD that this problem (strike) should end. He assured he was ready to take back the pilots but the matter is stuck with taking back of the 10 executive committee members of the now de-recognised Indian Pilots Guild,” said a pilot.
About AI 400 pilots, owing allegiance to the IPG, are on strike since 7 May. The airline management has terminated the services of 101 pilots, including 10 executive committee members. The airline has been operating its 38 out of 45 flights on truncated international schedule with the help of 120 executive pilots.
The executive pilots had last week written to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh that operating flight was now taking a toll on them as they were stressed and flight safety could be affected.
“We are following the flight duty time limitation (FDTL) guidelines,” Nandan said.
Out of 120, only 28 pilots are not available for flights due to various reasons.
“Twenty-two pilots have reported sick, three don’t have passport and three others have applied for emergency leave,” Nandan said, adding earlier a pilot was doing 72 hours in a month before the strike began and now they are doing 64 hours only.
On the issue of termination of 300 more pilots, Nandan said “we don’t want to terminate anyone. Termination is not our first option but if needed then we will have to take that step also.”
The Air India CMD said the airline was suffering a revenue loss of Rs 10 crore per day but added “we are making some substantial savings. However, we won’t be able to say now.”
He said the national carrier would be begin its flights to Riyadh and Narita (Japan) soon.
He accepted there was a fall in number of international passengers of the airlines.
The number has gone down from 14,000 per day to 10,000, he said.