Air India, the flag carrier airline of India, has proposed a new simplified salary structure for its pilots. The move comes as part of the airline’s efforts to streamline operations and cut costs.
Its merger with Vistara and significant fleet expansion have led to various issues around its cockpit department.
Simultaneous Town Hall Meetings
In a bid to set the tone for a simplified salary and seniority structure, two separate town hall meetings were held, led by Air India’s CEO Campbell Wilson and Vistara’s CEO Vinod Kannan. Also in attendance were senior pilots of both airlines and their HR heads. Boston Consulting Group, the organization advising Air India regarding the merger, also had its executive present in the meeting.
Among the issues discussed at the town hall meetings was the scope of the salary structure for pilots. Air India suggested a single-simplified salary structure citing the scope of operation for pilots of the merged airlines.
Per media reports, Vistara pilots worry about what the merger will mean to their seniority. The meetings held on Thursday suggested a single master seniority list that will guide the career path of the pilots.
During the meetings held simultaneously, the pilots were assured of a sustainable career path and ample growth opportunities within the airlines, premised on the projections of a rapid network and fleet expansion due to the merger.
To meet the future needs of pilots, the airline plans to set up in-house training centers, including 150 classrooms, 20 full-flight simulators, and mock-up training infrastructure with AR/VR facilities.
However, according to reports by Business Standard, some pilots still need clarity as there are lingering questions they want to be answered by the airline’s management. The most prominent question these pilots ask is the criteria for fixing a single seniority list.
Financial Struggles Linger in the Aviation Sector
Air India has been facing financial difficulties in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation. The airline has been implementing various cost-cutting measures, including reducing employee salaries and cutting back on non-essential expenses.
It is left to be seen how the new simplified salary structure will improve the airline’s customer service or affect the relationship with its pilots.
What do you think of the proposal? Please drop a comment below.