60 unpaid AI pilots quit in 6 months

36 of them have resigned in the last one-and-a-half months, attributing the move to rampant mismanagement and politics in the airline

With the ailing Maharaja's woes showing no signs of abatement, his subjects too seem to be reconsidering their loyalties.

Since the protracted 10-day pilots' strike last May, as many as 60 disgruntled Air India pilots have resigned from their posts. Of these, 36 quit in the last one-and-a-half months, after the airline, which is buried in debt, repeatedly failed to pay their salaries on time.

After abandoning the sinking ship, most of the pilots have opted for the more promising shores, and paychecks, offered by private airlines.

A senior Air India commander, who quit this month, explained the rationale behind his move, saying, "The management has asked us to give our best to the airline. But we need the best in return. Every month, we have to struggle to obtain our salaries. Despite repeated attempts on our part, our flying hours have not been increased. The 'development' that is spoken about is nothing more than lip service. This is the right time for us to quit our jobs, otherwise other doors will shut as well."

Another pilot who attributed his decision to rampant mismanagement by the AI administration, saying, "Politics is at its all-time high in the national carrier. We were hopeful that the new CMD Rohit Nandan would be able to implement some necessary changes in the system, but things haven't worked out."

Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) President Jitendra Awhad said, "Yes it is true that pilots are quitting, and the numbers have gone up in the last few months. I understand that anyone who wishes to work in a professional environment or wants to move forward in his career would not like to work here."

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