New Delhi: The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) was on Tuesday asked by the Delhi High Court to respond to the Air India’s appeal against a single judge’s order which had restrained it from imparting training to its pilots for Boeing 777 to be used on international routes.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R S Endlaw issued notice to ICPA, the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots’ union, and sought its reply by September 4 on AI’s appeal against the single judge’s May 11 order which had
stayed further training of pilots till implementation of the Justice Dharmadhikari panel recommendations on the issue.
Filing a petition through counsel Lalit Bhasin, the AI management said the single judge was wrong in staying the training being given to the Air India pilots for Boeing 777.
In its plea, AI said “staying the training will cause huge financial loss and the advance flight will be grounded.”
According to Air India, 200 commanders (chief pilots) and 200 first officer (co-pilots) need to undergo training for Boeing 777 but at present only 64 commanders and 62 co-pilots are undergoing training.
The division bench had earlier refused to hear the management’s appeal and deferred its hearing saying “pilots have no right to get training as they were on strike demanding career progression. Let them call off the strike first.”
The single judge’s May 11 verdict had come on a plea by erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots for an order to stay the ongoing training and also direct Air India management to impart training to them as well along with their counterparts in Air India for the rank of Boeing 777 commanders.
“I hereby make it clear that those pilots of Air India, who are already on training on advanced aircrafts, shall not be disturbed,” Justice Suresh Kait had said, adding, however, ”… those who have already taken the training on advance aircraft shall be subject to the outcome of the instant petition.”