Training schedule of pilots deferred till Nov end, AI tells HC

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Air India
Mumbai, Nov 2: Air India informed the Bombay High Court today (Nov 2) that the training schedule of pilots for the new Boeing 787, slated to commence from Nov 3, has been deferred till the month end as negotiations were on with the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) over the issue.

This was stated by Sudhir Talsania, Air India Counsel, before a division bench of justices Roshan Dalvi and Amjad Sayed, who then adjourned the hearing till November 14.

The court was hearing a petition filed by IPG, which challenged the decision of the airline management to draw equal number of pilots from the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines to train them for the new Boeing 787.

The petition sought a stay on the October 20 schedule issued by Air India for the proposed slots for training of pilots for the Boeing 787 aircraft, which would be inducted in its fleet over the next few months.

According to IPG, which represents erstwhile Air India pilots, such a schedule goes against the agreement it had reached with the management earlier.

IPG counsel Jamshed Mistry contended that such a policy, which requires assigning flight duty on a Boeing 787 aircraft to one pilot each from Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines, is "arbitrary" and "contrary to the agreements".

The petition argued that in September and October 2011, in a series of meetings, IPG was verbally conveyed that the central government desired that the flight crew requirement be met with pilots of both IA and AI on a 1:1 basis.

"However, IPG representatives informed the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India that this would be in violation of Wage Agreement dated December 22, 2006," the petition said.

The IPG contended that the experience of Indian Airlines pilots was far less than that of Air India pilots and sought that the 1:1 policy should not be implemented and only Air India pilots should be assigned duty on these new, advanced aircraft

PTI

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