Mumbai: Indian Pilots Guild has requested Air India, which formally became a member of the Star Alliance today, to take back pilots sacked in 2012 for striking work.
Congratulating the carrier on becoming a part of the elite airlines grouping, Star Alliance, IPG joint secretary Gurpreet Singh Singh in a letter to Air India chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan said, "This is indeed a great milestone in the history of Air India, for which you will always be remembered and congratulated."
Air India today formally became the 27th member of Star Alliance, opening up its domestic network in the fifth largest aviation market to the global airlines grouping`s passengers the world over.
On this occasion, the management had invited all its unions, but asked the IPG to nominate its senior most flying pilot to attend the function on the grounds that IPG is not a recognised union.
Air India would add about 400 daily flights and over 40 new destinations in India to the 27-member Alliance network of over 18,500 daily flights to 1,316 airports in 195 countries.
Acknowledging that in the past there was a grave mistrust between the management and the IPG pilots which even led to the unfortunate events in 2012, the letter said, "At this happy and momentous occasion we once again humbly request you to reinstate our colleagues back in Air India."
It may be recalled that the Air India witnessed a two-month long strike by its pilots owing allegiance to IPG over training to erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots for Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other issues. As the pilots refused to budge, the Air India management sacked all 13 IPG core committee pilots, besides withdrawing its recognition.
Air India has two pilots union, the IPG which represents the Air India pilots and the Indian Commercial Pilots Guild, which represents pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines.
"The IPG on behalf of its members would like to assure you hat we will continue to support all the efforts made by you in turning around Air India and take it to the number one airline in the world, a position where it truly belongs to," the letter further said.
Stating that the IPG will be eternally grateful and the entire pilot community will never forget the magnanimity of this gesture, the letter said, "We request you for an appointment to discuss the various Issues and concerns affecting the Airline and a chance to explain and clear the misunderstandings which have persisted for far too long between the management and IPG."