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Air India faces mass resignation ahead of divestment

File photo: Air India plane. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

ANI New Delhi, India Oct 13, 2019, 03.21 PM (IST)

National carrier Air India (AI) is facing mass resignation by the pilots as they are unhappy with their salary and promotion.

Around 120 Airbus A-320 pilots tendered their resignation after their demands pertaining to the salary hike and promotion were not paid heed to by the AI management.

This came in the backdrop of the Central government's decision to initiate the process of divestment of Air India's stake, which has a debt of over Rs 60,000 crore.

Speaking to ANI, a pilot who had recently resigned, said, "AI 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."

He added that the pilots are staring in the face of the adversity as they have to pay back hefty loans. "Even we pilots are not able to withdraw our salary on time," he said.

The pilots are first hired on the contractual basis for five years with a low salary, he claimed, adding that they were hopeful of getting a salary hike and promotion as they gain experience, but to no avail.

The disgruntled pilots are sure that they will get a job somewhere else as the market is currently open. As of now, IndigoAir, GoAir, Vistara and Air Asia, Indian airlines are operating Airbus A-320 flights.

On being asked if the operations of the national carrier will suffer due to the mass resignation, the Air India spokesperson said that it has surplus pilots. "AI operation will not suffer at any cost, due to resignation," the spokesperson added.

At present, Air India has a total of 2000 pilots out of which 400 are executive.