Air India pilots withdraw opposition to new wage agreement, as airline steps up hiring

Air India pilots withdraw opposition to new wage agreement, as airline steps up hiring

As Go First is grounded and the resolution may take time, Air India and IndiGo have received hundreds of applications.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, May 11, 2023, 10:04 PM IST
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At a time when the Indian aviation industry is in doldrums following the insolvency of Go First, the threat to SpiceJet and a delayed relaunch of Jet Airways, the country's grand old airline is recovering swiftly. After being taken over by Tata Sons, Air India has placed a massive order for 840 aircraft, and is on a hiring spree to address crew shortage.

As an additional boost, its wage agreement facing opposition from two pilots' unions, has also been accepted by a majority of its staff.

Threatened by new recruits?

After an extension to a deadline for pilots to accept the new salary structure, the unions withdrew their opposition, as 80 per cent members voted in favour of the agreement.

An Economic Times report suggested that the change of heart among pilots may have been trigered by fears of the airline hiring replacements from outside.

The decision also came days after pilots flocking to venues forced Air India to extend its walk-in interviews by another day.

As Go First is grounded and the resolution may take time, Air India and IndiGo have received hundreds of applications.

Why oppose in the first place?

The wage revision is a first after Air India came under Tata's wing, and is applicable for pilots at Vistara, Air India Express and Air Asia as well.

It involves a 20 per cent hike and a faster career progression for the crew, in a bid to attract new employees towards the airline eyeing rapid expansion.

The unions had previously opposed the move since they hadn't been consulted, and saw the decision by Air India as unilateral.

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