Air India may hire Jet Airways' co-pilots on short-term contracts
New Delhi : In a news that may bring some relief to the Jet Airways staffers, the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) on Saturday urged Air India's management to hire just Boeing 777 (B-777) rated co-pilots on short-term contracts instead of hiring Captains who come at a high cost.
Writing a letter to the Director, Operations of Air India, the IPG, referring to information about the airline planning to hire B-777 rated Captains and co-pilots on contract basis, said it will be a brutal waste of money when the company is facing a tough financial situation.
"Currently the Boeing 777 fleet has approximately 219 Captains and 110 First Officers. The total numbers are adequate with the fleet average at 70 hours (per month).
"We also have approximately 40 Captains on deputation awaiting repatriation from Air India Express and about the same number of First Officers awaiting their turn for command upgrade," they said in the letter.
The letter comes at a time when Air India is planning to procure more B777 Boeings to fill up vaccum spaces created by non-operating Jet Airways.
"However, to hire type rated Captains on B-777 and increase the wage bill dramatically would be an utter waste of resources which we can ill-afford at this time," the IPG letter notes.
Speaking to IANS on the condition of anonymity, an IPG member said: "Ideally Air India should take the aircraft on dry lease (leasing of the aircraft alone and use its personnel for operations) than taking the planes on wet lease (paying a lump-sum towards aircraft and staff salaries)."