Seems like the national carrier Air India's troubles are from over. As the airline prepares for disinvestment, pilots disgruntled over long-delayed promotion and salary are resigning en masse.
Around 120 Airbus A-320 pilots tendered their resignation after their demand for salary revision and promotion was ignored by Air India management, reported ANI. Notably, Air India is reeling under a huge debt of more than Rs. 60,000.
"Air India management should listen to our grievances. Our demand regarding salary hike and promotion is long pending before them but they have failed to give a strong assurance," one of the pilots who recently tendered his resignation said.
He added that the pilots are facing huge problems in repaying hefty loans they have taken. "Even we pilots are not able to withdraw our salary on time," he said.
He claimed that the pilots are first hired for a period of five years on contract. After five years, they expect a contract renewal with a hike in salary and promotion but the management has not paid heed to their demands.
The outgoing pilots are hopeful of getting a job elsewhere in the industry as the airline market is currently open. Apart from Air India, Indigo, GoAir, Vistara and Air Asia are among Indian airlines that operate Airbus A-320 flights.
However, Air India is not expecting a hit in its operation as the carrier has surplus pilots. "AI operation will not suffer at any cost, due to resignation," a spokesperson from the airline said. Air India is operating with a total of over 2000 pilots out of which 400 are executives.
The central government has been in the process of disinvestment from Air India for a while now. Last year in March, the central government had issued preliminary information memorandum kicking off Air India's disinvestment process.
After not receiving any bids, the government was eventually forced to defer the strategic plan to sell its 76 percent stake in the airline.