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Air India advertises for pilots on contract

Last updated on: June 12, 2012 13:03 IST

Air India advertises for pilots on contract

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

For the first time ever, Air India (AI) has decided to induct Indian pilots on a five-year contract, giving rise to fear among the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) that sacked pilots might not be inducted on a permanent basis.

The state-run airline has issued an advertisement on its website inviting applications from qualified commanders and co-pilots for flying Boeing 747/ 777/ 737 planes.

It has so far recruited Indian pilots on a permanent basis. Expatriates and retired pilots are hired by the airline on contract. AI Express has pilots on deputation from AI (permanent employees) and Indian and expatriate pilots on contract.

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Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had said last week sacked pilots were free to rejoin the airline and could apply to the advertisement.

Singh's statement and the airline's advertisement have led IPG members to believe that the airline will now induct them on contract.

AI came out with the advertisement even as it is contemplating sacking 300 pilots. It has already sacked 101 pilots of the IPG for going on an illegal strike that has now crossed 36 days.

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Photographs: Reuters

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However, Singh, who has taken a tough line against the union, told a television channel that he had not recommended sacking of pilots.

"While we welcome the minister's statement that he did not order pilots' sacking, the AI management is arm twisting us to break our unity.

The management wants us to come back on contract. It is unfair to sack a permanent employee and hire him on contract," an IPG source said.

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Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
Tags: Air India , IPG , Singh

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Contract pilots could have less salary and lower scale, compared to permanent employees, and would have no right to form a union.

An AI spokesperson said pilots would be hired on contract under the specific advertisement.

He offered no comment on whether sacked pilots, too, could be inducted in the same recruitment drive.


Photographs: Reuters
Tags: Air India

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