AI troubles increase; 22 executive pilots report 'sick'
New Delhi: In further trouble for the strike-hit Air India, 22 of its around 120 Executive pilots have reported 'sick' at a time when the national carrier is struggling to maintain its international operations.
Air India Chairman-cum-Managing Director Rohit Nandan on Tuesday said while 22 pilots have reported 'sick', three don't have passport and three others have applied for emergency leave like illness in family.
He stated this after a delegation of Executive pilots met him to press for early resolution to the 44-day strike by 400 non-Executive pilots.
There are about 120 Executive pilots in Air India and they have been complaining of stress because of increased workload in the wake of the strike by their colleagues.
Nandan said prior to the strike, an Executive pilot was doing 72 hours in a month and now they are doing 64 hours only.
"We have said to the CMD that this problem (strike) should end. He assured he was ready to take back the pilots but the matter is stuck with taking back of the 10 executive committee members of the now de-recognised Indian Pilots Guild," said a pilot.
About AI 400 pilots, owing allegiance to the IPG, are on strike since May 7. The airline management has terminated the services of 101 pilots, including 10 executive committee members.
The airline has been operating its 38 out of 45 flights on truncated international schedule with the help of 120 executive pilots.
The Executive pilots had last week written to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh saying that operating flight was now taking a toll on them as they were stressed and flight safety could be affected.
Putting up a brave face, Nandan said "we are following the flight duty time limitation (FDTL) guidelines."