New Delhi- Air India has given more time to pilots to accept the revised compensation structure, which has been opposed by two pilot unions, according to a source.

The decision to provide more time to pilots who are yet to sign the new contracts also comes days after Air India organised a town hall meeting with many pilots to discuss their concerns.

The source said the airline has given time till the end of this week for signing the new contracts apparently due to requests from people who had not earlier accepted the revised compensation structure.

There was no comment from Air India on extending the deadline.

Initially, the deadline for accepting the new contracts had ended on April 30.

The move to extend the deadline also comes at a time when crisis-hit Go First has stopped flying and its future remains uncertain, a scenario that has also resulted in many of the budget carrier’s pilots seeking job opportunities elsewhere.

The source said that nearly 800 pilots who had not accepted the new compensation structure had attended the town hall on May 4 that was addressed by Air India’s Chief of Operations Captain Rajwinder Singh Sandhu, who is also a pilot.

On May 4, a pilot, who had attended the town hall, said Sandhu had assured that all issues can be sorted out and that no clause in the revised contracts would be misused.

Issues related to seniority, career progression and roster rules, among others, were discussed.

Air India has around 1,800 pilots and a significant chunk of them are yet to sign the revised contracts, according to another source.

On April 28, Air India chief Campbell Wilson said that a majority of pilots have accepted the new compensation package offered last week.

Campbell had said the airline is making investments in workplace technology and training as well as in new and improved employee benefits.

“On the latter front, I’m pleased to report that 90 per cent of cabin crew and a majority of pilots have received and accepted the new compensation package offered last week, which will be back-dated to 1 April 2023,” he had said.

On April 17, Air India rolled out a revamped compensation structure for its pilots and cabin crew. However, the same was rejected by two pilot unions — Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) — on grounds that the airline, in alleged violation of labour practices, did not consult them before finalising the new contracts.

Tata Group took control of loss-making Air India from the government in January last year.   (PTI)


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