New Delhi: The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) has written to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, seeking ‘One Rank One Pay’ for pilots.
“We fail to understand as to why the top management has turned a blind eye to this issue which is bleeding the national carrier of high-value foreign exchange. The ad-hoc decision to pay a section of pilot’s adhoc money while the proposal is still pending with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) clouts favouritism and is beyond reasoning,” the pilots association wrote in a letter to Prabhu, adding that the pilots of the airlines feel “cheated and demoralised.”
“ICPA had accepted the MoCA approval on pay and allowances in the year 2016 in good faith as we were assured it will be implemented on All Air India Pilots. MoCA approval was implemented on all narrow body pilots (pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines) but a section of Wide Body pilots continued to be paid as per their old structure,” the letter from the ICPA states.
The note goes on to say, “A new proposal was floated by Air India management in the year 2017 and was accepted by both erstwhile pilots which is yet to be approved by MoCA. From October 2017, Air India management had started paying a section of widebody pilots an ad-hoc amount at par with the new proposal which is yet to be approved by MoCA.”
The pilot body has further claimed that half of the Flying Allowance given to widebody pilots is still being paid in “fixed US dollar exchange rate of Rs 45.50 while the present US dollar exchange rate has reached an all-time high of Rs 74.”
“While majority of Air India pilots are paid international layover subsistence allowance on actual international night stops (USD 200), a section of widebody pilots continue to receive a fixed monthly international layover allowance irrespective of number of international night stops undertaken,” the letter read.
ICPA states that despite being aware of the situation, Director (Operations) has taken no initiative to correct the wrong for reasons best known to him.
“We fail to understand as to why the top management has turned a blind eye to this issue which is bleeding the national carrier of high-value foreign exchange. The ad-hoc decision to pay a section of pilot’s ad-hoc money while the proposal is still pending with the MoCA clouts favouritism and is beyond reasoning,” the letter stated adding that the pilots of erstwhile airlines feel “cheated and demoralised.”
The letter has been signed by General Secretary Captain T. Praveen Keerthi.