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ICPA warns Air India of strikes if any pilot is victimised by management over flying allowances issue

New Delhi: After telling Air India on 10 February that they would not be following any changes in the duty roster system because of non-payment of flying allowances, the pilots' union of the national carrier decided on Tuesday said that "if any pilot is victimised" by the management, it would go to any extent, including resorting to "strikes".

"It has been hereby resolved by the CEC (Central Executive Committee) that if any pilot is victimised by the management, the CEC will go to any extent to safeguard the pilot, including strikes," stated the CEC resolution of the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) dated 12 February 2019.

The ICPA represents the pilots who fly the narrow-body aircraft of Air India. "Complete financial protection along with legal support will be provided by the ICPA on central level," the resolution stated.

 ICPA warns Air India of strikes if any pilot is victimised by management over flying allowances issue

Representational image. Reuters

The Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) is the union of pilots who fly the wide-body aircraft of Air India. On 10 February, both unions told Air India that since they had not received the flying allowance, they had decided not to accept "changes in the (duty) roster and will maintain the CMS (crew management system) printed roster already issued for the month of February".

The flying allowance, which is around 70 percent of the total pay package, is paid to a pilot on the basis of the number of flight hours he or she has clocked in a month. Both unions had said on 10 February that the pilots were working under "stressful conditions" that had "direct implications on flight safety".

Sale of ground-handling unit

On Tuesday, the government offered to sell 100 percent stake in Air India's subsidiary Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL). Restarting the divestment process for the ailing national carrier, the preliminary information memorandum for disinvestment of AIATSL, the ground-handling arm, was issued on Tuesday.

The government would offload 98 percent stake through strategic sale and the remaining 2 percent would be offered to the employees of AIATSL.

AIATSL posted a net profit of Rs 711 crore in 2017-18, higher than Rs 334 crore recorded in the same period a year ago, as per the memorandum. As on 1 January, 2019, AIATSL had 1,372 permanent and 11,790 contract employees. Around 42 percent of the permanent employees of the subsidiary would be retiring in the next five years, as per the memorandum.

AIATSL has been providing services to 46 airlines, including Emirates, GoAir, Qatar Airways and Lufthansa, as on 1 January.

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Updated Date: Feb 13, 2019 12:07:30 IST