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Air India brings new policy; allows pilots to fly for 5 yrs after retirement

Chief Human Resource of Air India in a letter said, Air India's pilots currently retire at the age of 58, the company has made a policy to extend service to pilots even after retirement, amid increasing the number of aircraft in its fleet. (HT_PRINT)Premium
Chief Human Resource of Air India in a letter said, Air India's pilots currently retire at the age of 58, the company has made a policy to extend service to pilots even after retirement, amid increasing the number of aircraft in its fleet. (HT_PRINT)

Air India has introduced a new policy which will give an extension of service to its selected pilots on a contract basis for a period of 5 years after retirement.

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Air India has introduced a new policy which will give an extension of service to its selected pilots on a contract basis for a period of 5 years after retirement.

The contract can be extended till the age of 65 years.

Chief Human Resource of Air India in a letter said, "Air India's pilots currently retire at the age of 58, the company has made a policy to extend service to pilots even after retirement, amid increasing the number of aircraft in its fleet."

The company's current retire age for pilots is 58. The policy has been made to extend service to pilots even after retirement keeping the increasing number of aircraft in its fleet in mind.

"Considering the future expansion plans for our fleet, it is imperative to meet our workforce requirement for pilots. Allowing pilots to fly till the age of 65 is a practice followed by most airlines in the industry. To meet our requirement, it is proposed to retain our current trained pilots at Air India post-retirement on a contractual basis for 5 years extendable to 65 years," Air India circular read.

Air India has decided to constitute a committee comprising of the functional representatives of HR, Operations and Flight Safety to examine the eligibility of pilots retiring in the next two years.

"The committee will be responsible for reviewing the past records of the pilots with respect to discipline, flight safety and vigilance. Post the review, the committee will recommend the shortlisted names to the Chief Human Resources Officer for issuing them post-retirement contract. One year prior to the pilots' retirement, they will be issued a letter of intent for their post-retirement engagement," said the company.

Pertinent to mention, India's aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) allows pilots to fly till the age of 65 years, compared to the Air India retirement age of 58 years.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed CMD Campbell Wilson has asked the airline's integrated operations control centre (IOCC), which is the "nerve centre" of any carrier, to report directly to him and give recommendations on how to improve the on-time performance.

Air India's on-time performance (OTP) is not up to the mark and it is certainly not world class, Wilson said in an internal communique to employees on July 28.

"IOCC is the nerve centre of an airline. It not only manages our network of flights 24X7, 365 days of the year, it plays a crucial role in driving our OTP," Wilson said in the communique, which has been accessed by news agency PTI.

The aviation veteran -- who has around 26 years of experience -- said that since he has joined Air India, he has observed that the airline's on-time performance "is not up to the mark" and "certainly not to the world class level to which we aspire and which our customers expect".

Air India's on-time performance at four metro airports -- Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai -- was just 83.1 per cent in June, lower than IndiGo, Vistara and AirAsia India, according to data from aviation regulator DGCA.

Wilson said in his communique that this status quo regarding OTP is "simply not acceptable".

"So, I have decided that the IOCC located at Safdarjung will henceforth report directly to me. With my authority, they will be recommending some amendments to the ways we operate and will regularly update me on the status of implementation," he mentioned.

He said the airline will also be reviewing its resources, systems and capabilities and making changes that are needed to bring its OTP up to the required standard.

"Some of the process changes may touch your area, so I therefore ask for your full cooperation in this task, which is a vital step in our journey to world class," he noted.

The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27 after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year.

(With inputs from agencies)

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