Speaking to MiD DAY, a top MOCA functionary said, “The step taken by pilots is unwarranted and we will not bow to such pressure tactics. They (pilots) claim that they are paid less, which is completely untrue. In fact, they are paid more than what several foreign airlines pay their pilots. Also, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) guidelines, these pilots should work up to 100 hours per month. But as per the record, they work only for 67 hours. What else do they want now?” he questioned.
“They want the best hotels when they fly on international routes, otherwise they complain. We have paid more than Rs 141 crore in last one year towards their hotel expenses. They don’t want to get transferred, following which we have to pay for extra taxi charges. What’s more? They even want the luxury cab of their choice, and hence we have paid more than Rs 11 crore towards their taxi fares,” he added.
MOCA has made it clear that it would not bow to such pressure tactics. It however maintained that if the striking pilots resume work, they would be taken back despite enquiries pending against them. “Earlier, one of the agitating pilots joined us and we willingly took him back. It is a precedent for them who are protesting till date. If all of them resume work, they will be taken back,” said the MOCA functionary.