New Delhi, Dec 17: As many as 173 Air India pilots have resigned from the national carrier since 2012, with maximum numbers being of those operating the narrow body Airbus A320 family aircraft, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, the Minister said 72 pilots operating the narrow-body Airbus A320 family fleet have resigned, while 38 pilots each of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing 777, eight of Boeing 747 and 17 of Boeing 737 fleet have quit between 2012 and October this year.
The Minister said the cost of training a pilot in a Boeing aircraft has gone up by 36 per cent between 2012 and October this year while it has increased by 33 per cent for Airbus family of planes during this period.
Raju said the annual recurrent training cost on training a pilot for a Boeing aircraft stood at Rs 2.04 lakh while for an Airbus plane it was Rs 2.26 lakh in 2012.
This training cost increased to Rs 4.01 lakh and Rs 3.01 lakh till October this year, he said. As against this, the type rating cost per pilot for a Boeing pilot rose to Rs 23.25 lakh till October this year from Rs 19.74 lakh in 2012.
Besides, the type rating cost per pilot for an Airbus pilot, which was Rs 21.32 lakh in 2012, has increased to Rs 22.94 lakh till October this year, according to data.
The Minister said, as per present policy of Air India, all pilots are appointed on fixed term contract of five years.
Each pilot is required to give a bank guarantee for amount equivalent to training cost which would be invoked if any pilot leaves the company before completion of five years of fixed term contract, he said.
To a query on the corrective steps taken to prevent exodus of its pilots, Raju said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has authorised the Ministry of Civil Aviation for periodic review of pay allowances and perks of pilots based on the prevalent market standards.
"This will help in resisting attempts by completing airlines from poaching of pilots on accounts of lesser pay and perks as compared to the industry standards," the Minister said.
The career progression of co-pilots has been addressed through their upgrade training, he said, adding pilots are given open access to voice their grievances of day to day issues, and immediate steps are taken for remedial action, Raju added.