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Some Facts of the Air India Pilots Agitation:

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Some Facts of the Air India Pilots Agitation:

Old 8th Jun 2012, 18:46
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Some Facts of the Air India Pilots Agitation:

1. Air India pilots not paid for the last 5 months. Yet they continue to operate flights out of concern for the passengers and goodwill towards the company.
2. Rather than appreciate this gesture of the employees, the management goes ahead and takes arbitrary decisions granting special benefits to the pilots of Indian Airlines at the expense of the pilots of Air India.
Example 1: Even though the company has been making losses and is unable to pay salaries to 30000 odd employees, in November 2011, the management give a salary raise (1lakh to 1.5 lakhs per pilot per month) to the 800 odd pilots of Indian Airlines. This proves the bias of the AI management towards the pilots of Indian Airlines.
Example 2: Co-Pilots of Indian Airlines are promoted to Commanderís grade in 6 years. Co-pilots of Air India are promoted to Commanderís grade in 10 years.
3. Deeply distressed by this attitude of the management, the pilots raise their issues with the management, demanding fair treatment and equal opportunity on par with the pilots of Indian Airlines. The management refuses to even hear the concerns of the Air India pilots.
4. Nonpayment of salaries combined with this discriminatory treatment causes severe mental stress in the minds of the pilots. They are too mentally disturbed, and therefore not in the right frame of mind to operate flights. Keeping in mind the safety of passengers, they inform the company that they are unable to operate flights due to this mental stress.
5. To reiterate, the pilots are not on strike, they are simply not in the right frame of mind to safely operate a flight.
6. Within 12 hours of the pilotís refusal to operate flights the management issues termination letters to the pilots, without even giving them an opportunity to explain their grievances and even without ascertaining the nature of their illness.
7. The agitation has now gone on for 32 days. In these 32 days, the management has been missing in action. They have not met the striking pilots even once. The pilots have repeatedly approached the management for talks and to end the impasse, but the management has refused to speak with the pilots. Therefore the stalemate continuesÖÖÖ..

Questions for the Honíble Minister
1. Mr. Ajit Singh is the minister for Civil Aviation not minister only for Air India. Why has he been talking to media rather than letting the management speak and hold them accountable for the mess at Air India?
2. The Government negotiates with banned outfits and terrorist organization, but the minister refuses to talk to pilots of Air India, who have worked in the past even without getting salaries?
3. By not talking to the pilots the agitation has prolonged for 32 days, the private airlines like Jet Airways and Emirates, are benefitting. Therefore the ministerís stubborn stance of not talking has caused losses to the national airline, while benefitting private airlines. Have the private airlines bribed the minister to prolong the agitation and keep Air India grounded so that they benefit as a result?
4. Air India pilots are highly trained and experienced. Air India has spent close to Rs. 1 Crore to train each pilot. Now the minister wants to sack these highly experienced and highly trained 100 pilots. Air India has spent close to 100 crores to train these pilots. By sacking these pilots, Air India stands to lose 100 crores. How can the minister be allowed to waste public money is such an arbitrary manner?
5. The minister proposes to hire 100 new pilots. The cost of training these 100 pilots is 100 crores (Rs. 1 crore per pilot). Who is accountable for this wasteful expenditure?
6. The minister proposes to hire foreign pilots to replace the 100 sacked pilots. Each foreign pilot is payed Rs 12 lakhs per month with 5 star hotel accommodation. The cost to company of a foreign pilot is nearly double that of an Indian Pilot. Despite this the minister still insists on hiring foreign pilots. Who is accountable for this wastage of public money?
7. Senior retired Air India executives own/work for foreign pilot recruitment agencies. There is a strong possibility of an element of kickbacks and bribes involved in the recruitment of foreign pilots. Is the ministerís intention on prolonging the agitation to justify the recruitment of foreigners??
8. The pilots agitation has been going on 32 days, out of 20 Boeing 777s ONLY 5 are currently flying due to the agitation. Despite this the minister says that flight operations are normal. Is the minister misleading the country??
9. Each Boeing 777 costs approximately 1000 crores. 15 of these aircrafts, costing 15000 crores are currently sitting on ground due to the agitation. Rather than initiate a dialogue, the minister is acting stubborn as a result the agitation continues. Who is responsible for the resulting losses??
10. The present agitation has resulted in losses of 300 crores. However in the last 5 years, Air India has incurred losses of ONE LAKH CRORES. The officials responsible for these losses are the bureaucrats of the civil aviation ministry, the bureaucrats who are deputed to Air India as CMDs and the management of Air India. Till date none of these officials have been held accountable for their decisions which have resulted in these losses. The minister is blaming the pilots for the loss of 300 crores but he says nothing about the bureaucrats who have caused the ONE LAKH Crore Loss to Air India!

The Air India Pilots are fighting for Truth, Clarity and Fairness in work, in an aviation scenario riddled with so many wrongs.

They hope that Truth shall prevail .... and the struggle will continue, trying to make working with, and in Air India, safe and secure for all.
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 19:04
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Devil This is bullshit !!!

You went to strike just before the PEAK season started. You knew you can ask government to do whatever you want to.. because you thought country/ airline can not run without you guys. This is exactly dog thinks when he is walking under "Belgari". Believe me, every Indian citizen is with Mr. Ajit Singh, who showed so much courage against you IDIOTs. You did not even respect the Hon'ble High Court, you keep all of them on your toe~~

You guys are trying to make government do what you do not deserve to.
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 19:06
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What needs to occur is the closing down of Air India, then allow a private operator to sink or swim without help or hinderence from the Indian Government.

AI does not serve the purpose that it once did, IndiGo provides a far superior service in the domestic sector and for points overseas there is the real flag carrier of India, Emirates
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 19:18
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When Air India and Indian Airlines were merged why were the seniority lists of both airlines not combined?

With respect to the Indian Airlines first officers upgraded what is their experience relating to the Air India first officers? F/Os that have more time and have more takeoffs and landings are better suited to upgrade. Absent a single seniority list the company needs to upgrade on the basis of experience.

If you are not getting paid then the aircraft should not move. Period. Your costs are every bit as important as fuel or other aircraft expenses. 6 months without pay is ludicrous. You should have walked after the first paycheck was missed.

Given the fact that every other airline market is hiring then there should be no concern by the Air India pilots over being replaced. You will make more money elsewhere and probably have a better standard of living. Yes, everyone wants to fly where they live and you have every right to be angry at your situation but really, you guys hold the edge here. They need you more than you need them.
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 19:21
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maharaja

You quote numbers in lakh, crore, and lakh crore.

Now I am a union man, but these terms mean nothing to the vast majority of the world, therefore we can not aprreciate their scale.

To that end, it would helpful if you could quote financial numbers in more easily understandably currency numbers, either us$ or Euro or UK£.
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 20:21
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A lakh = 100,000
A crore =10 million

A lakh crore is therefore an extremely large number ( even if the INR is more than 50 to the greenback) .

Fwiw 1 lakh is written 1,00,000.
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 20:54
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some truths about airindia agitation

Dear Maharaja, here is your point to point reply:
1. It is a fact that none of the emloyees have been paid salary since februray. Its not only the pilots, but all the employees are working.
2. Esrtwhile AI pilots are getting allowance of 80 hrs per month whether they fly or not. This was not being paid to erst while Indian Airlines pilots. So they agitated n May 11. The management agreed to their demands but paid only for 72 hrs instead of 80 hrs and at a rate lower than AI.Dont say that they were paid Rs. 1 lakh more and all that bullshit and misguide people. Even after paying this their salaries are much lower than that of AI pilots.
3.after dharmadhikari report is implemented, bothe ia and ai pilos ill be promoted at the same time. so crying on this is stupid.
4. No doubt you are distressed, becase IA pilots salaries are eventhough less, nearer to your salaries.
5. All of you suddenly at the same time fall sick and are in not in the right frame of mind simultaneously, which is ridiculous.
6. Yo were a recognised union and were required to give otice as per Industrial Disputes Act, to the management, which you did not give, then why should management talk to you. Doctors were sent to your residence to ascertain the nature of your illness but most of you were not at home. Maybe you went to clubs to remove your mental agony.
7.The management is not missing in action. They have sacked 101 pilots. They will lease 777 aircrafts and operate 787 which will come by month end. If they can run 75% of their flights without you, it means you all are redundant. The management can manage without you. In para 5 you say you are not on strike and in para 7 you say the management has not met striking pilots. When the union is derecognised, whom can the management talk to?

I am not the minister, but a common man. the answers to the questions put up to the minister are as follows:
1. You are absolutely right on this count. The CMD should have faced the media, and not the minister. But you know all the babus, they like to hide behind the minister, who call the shots.
2.Your demands are most unreasonable and you have gone on strike without giving notice. Even the high court has termed your strike illegal, then why should the management talk to you?
3. We feel that the private operators have bribed your leader to go on a strike without any notice during th PEAK SEASON so that they are benefited and at the same time bring HUGE DISREPUTE to airindia by getting CURSES from the esteemed passengers who have to pay through their nose to go on other airlines.If you had even little concern for the passengers you would not have taken this drastic step. Just lip service of apologising doesnt help my dear friend.
4. Your figure of 1 crore is highly exaggerated. Just see the advt of airindia. For typerating 320 pilot airindia is charging just 28 lkhs. Dont give wrong figures. If you all are not ready to work, airindia has to find ways to run the airline. This 100 crore should be recovered from you.
5. who said this is wasteful expenditure. This is investment.
6. If the situation demands, a few foreign pilots may be appointed as commanders for a short duration till the situation is normalised and for your information 90 copilots will be ready by august. As and when indian pilots are ready, the services of foreigners an be terminated by giving due notice. The extra money paid to these should also be recovered from IPG.
7. The agitation is being prolonged because you have taken a wrong step and are now in a fix. There is still time. Better resume duties without any precondition and things will come to normal. Please dont think that you are above IA pilots. Both have to work together to bring the airline to its past glory. As regards kickbacks, we have to be vigilant and ensure that pilots are selected through advt in indian newspapers and not through any agency.
8. In such situations, people have the habit of exaggerating things, just as you are doing. May be ignored.
9. Cost of boeing 777 seems to be exaggerated. Does it include your kickback? Who is responsible? every on knows. You the Pilots.
10. I fully agree with you that those responsible for this state of affairs of airindia including minister, bureaucrats should be brought to book. But this does give you a license to go on strike without notice and cause further loss of 300 crores during PEAK SEASON.
IF YOU REALLY LOVE AIRINDIA, SHED YOUR EGO, GET BACK TO WORK IMMEDIATELY. JAIHIND or else lookout for another job as you are highly trained and qualified.

Last edited by wb787; 9th Jun 2012 at 10:36.
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Old 8th Jun 2012, 21:27
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I share Top Bunk's views. Unions are very important, but they need to do their job properly including communicating effectively, which does not appear to be the case here.

Picking up on a couple of points; if I have understood the crore correctly then it appears to be 10 million rupees which I understand to be $180,000, which is a pretty full price. Few if anyone gets their training for free these days (at Lufthansa or most other majors if you are lucky enough to be sponsored, you pay the cost back over time). Significant numbers at BA and elsewhere have paid for their training themselves and worked their way up via easyjet, Ryanair etc. I am not saying this is good, just that is the way things are typically done now.

If you compare upgrade times for short haul and long haul you are also comparing apples and pears. Six years for a short haul command and a long haul command at ten years is pretty good going. If the union wants long haul FO's to get a long haul command after 6 years just because short haul guys are getting them then that is not a very convincing argument.

The sick out route is a tough one to make work. The very compelling book about the 49 ers, which I can thoroughly recommend, has almost certainly been read by your management. If you have not read it I suggest you do. The Cathay guys say it was not a sick out, but management still used it against them. I think management have maneuvered you into this and unless you find a way to de-escalate the situation you will not be around to fight another day.
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 05:33
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Air India Union is headed by NCP guy. NCP guy lost his job as aviation minister.

For those who are not from India in simple language

1. Prior Aviation minister belonged to an ally political association called the NCP. NCP is know to be "muscle" and are one of many allies that have blackmailed the weak government to fill their pockets.

2. THe current IPG is headed by a goon from the NCP.

3. Cause PP lost his job this is his way of getting back


I have seen first hand on flights the mentality of the crew on AI flights. IA used to be like that but really cleaned up their act till PP initiated the merger but are still not as greedy and corrupt as an average AI employee (flight crew/cabin crew).

Kick them all out and start afresh. Kudos to the new minister for sticking to his guns and fire away buddy!

Oh yes Maharaja as you might have seen very little support you have from your own community. Please do not raise patriotic chants and try and play the martyr. No one buys your argument as it is selfish, self serving.
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 07:20
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1. Air India pilots not paid for the last 5 months. Yet they continue to operate flights out of concern for the passengers and goodwill towards the company.
So where's this concern for the passengers and goodwill towards the company gone now? Not paid for the last 5 months? The pilots themselves are responsible for that situation as well. Their union should have raised the issue with the management and should've taken a firm stand back then when the first month's salary was missed. That way the pilots send a strong message to the management, No Salary=No Work. But they still continued work, not because of their concern for pax & goodwill towards the company, but because they didn't have elsewhere to go. Not comfortable with the way things are in NACIL? Go switch to some other company then! And that should not be a problem when you say that "Air India pilots are highly trained and experienced.".
And do you mean to say that only the erstwhile AI pilots were not paid for the past 5 months whereas the erstwhile IC guys were paid on time?


2. Rather than appreciate this gesture of the employees, the management goes ahead and takes arbitrary decisions granting special benefits to the pilots of Indian Airlines at the expense of the pilots of Air India.
Example 1: Even though the company has been making losses and is unable to pay salaries to 30000 odd employees, in November 2011, the management give a salary raise (1lakh to 1.5 lakhs per pilot per month) to the 800 odd pilots of Indian Airlines. This proves the bias of the AI management towards the pilots of Indian Airlines.
Example 2: Co-Pilots of Indian Airlines are promoted to Commanderís grade in 6 years. Co-pilots of Air India are promoted to Commanderís grade in 10 years.
Please elaborate the point that you make when you say "at the expense of the pilots of Air India". This airline doesn't belong to the erstwhile AI pilots! An erstwhile Air India pilot is paid more compared to an erstwhile IC pilot of the same ranks. Moreover nowhere in your post did you speak of the dispute over who gets trained on the 787s, which is one of the major issues haunting your union and one of the prime reasons for the ongoing strike. Trying to mislead people here on PPRuNe?

3. Deeply distressed by this attitude of the management, the pilots raise their issues with the management, demanding fair treatment and equal opportunity on par with the pilots of Indian Airlines. The management refuses to even hear the concerns of the Air India pilots.
The management asked you to resume work and end the strike first. The strike itself was illegal. But it is the false ego of the erstwhile AI pilots that is the main culprit here. The management taking a tough stand against the striking pilots for the first time and sacking them is what came as a surprise to these pilots.

4. Nonpayment of salaries combined with this discriminatory treatment causes severe mental stress in the minds of the pilots. They are too mentally disturbed, and therefore not in the right frame of mind to operate flights. Keeping in mind the safety of passengers, they inform the company that they are unable to operate flights due to this mental stress.
5. To reiterate, the pilots are not on strike, they are simply not in the right frame of mind to safely operate a flight.
Calling in sick for work is a privilege given to the pilots which was used in a wrong way by the striking pilots. And don't give me that crap about not being in the right frame of mind to safely operate a flight. You never are. We all know about the incidents (that could have ended in disasters) that have occurred in the past, that were never made public. Never knew there were so many cinderellas working for the erstwhile AI.

6. Within 12 hours of the pilotís refusal to operate flights the management issues termination letters to the pilots, without even giving them an opportunity to explain their grievances and even without ascertaining the nature of their illness.
Rightly done by the management when the strike itself was illegal. An attempt was made by the management by sending doctors to your place to ascertain the nature of your illness and we all know what were the findings of the medical team. Your allegations are crap.

The Government negotiates with banned outfits and terrorist organization, but the minister refuses to talk to pilots of Air India, who have worked in the past even without getting salaries?
Successful negotiations between the union and the management has happened in the past. Just because this time around the management has taken a firm stance against the striking pilots and refuses to bow down (which came as a surprise to the striking pilots), they start comparisions with banned outfits and terrosrist organizations? Wasn't the strike declared illegal by the Indain court of law? Breaking the law and holding the country to ransom for the past one month makes them no less than terrorists.

By not talking to the pilots the agitation has prolonged for 32 days, the private airlines like Jet Airways and Emirates, are benefitting. Therefore the ministerís stubborn stance of not talking has caused losses to the national airline, while benefitting private airlines. Have the private airlines bribed the minister to prolong the agitation and keep Air India grounded so that they benefit as a result?
Let's look at it from a different perspective here. It is the ego of the striking pilots (moreover the strike is illegal) that caused losses to our national airline (I am surprised you referred to it as National Airline for the first time rather than "Air India" alone. BTW nowhere in your post did you referred to it as NACIL.)
You talk of bribes just because your demands are not met. Nowhere in your post did you mention the issue surrounding the 787s, which is one of the reasons for the strike. Are you trying to cover up the real issue and mislead others by mentioning stuffs like bribing etc?

Air India pilots are highly trained and experienced. Air India has spent close to Rs. 1 Crore to train each pilot. Now the minister wants to sack these highly experienced and highly trained 100 pilots. Air India has spent close to 100 crores to train these pilots. By sacking these pilots, Air India stands to lose 100 crores. How can the minister be allowed to waste public money is such an arbitrary manner?
So please elaborate what does "highly trained" and "experienced" mean according to you? What "high" training did AI pilots receive that you think others industry-wide do not receive, and thus makes them better pilots than the others? And does all the pilots of Air India have 10k+ hours (if that is what you meant by "experienced") of experience when they are hired? That's the bubble you live in and that's where the problem lies. These pilots think that just because 1 crore was spent behind their training, they are eligible for a lifetime employment with the airline and thus they can do whatever they want (doesn't matter if it's illegal) even if it causes a loss to the airline which is 200-300 times more than what was spent on their training. And just because their jobs are at stake, they call it a waste of public money by the minister, to mislead the public and save their a$$. These pilots are the ones who are responsible for the waste of public money.

The minister proposes to hire 100 new pilots. The cost of training these 100 pilots is 100 crores (Rs. 1 crore per pilot). Who is accountable for this wasteful expenditure?
Better spend 100 crores on fresh pilots than risk a loss of thousands of crores in strikes that can be faced in the future as well if all the sacked pilots are taken back. And moreover it's a waste of public money not yours and the public has no issues with this expenditure because they are backing the minister. So why do you have a problem with that?

The present agitation has resulted in losses of 300 crores. However in the last 5 years, Air India has incurred losses of ONE LAKH CRORES. The officials responsible for these losses are the bureaucrats of the civil aviation ministry, the bureaucrats who are deputed to Air India as CMDs and the management of Air India. Till date none of these officials have been held accountable for their decisions which have resulted in these losses. The minister is blaming the pilots for the loss of 300 crores but he says nothing about the bureaucrats who have caused the ONE LAKH Crore Loss to Air India!
The merger itself was a disaster. I wonder why didn't you guys strike against the merger so strongly back then? Why was the union so scared to raise their voice against PP back then when the merger was planned?

I have no in-depth knowledge about the merger process but is it possible to de-merge NACIL into AI and IC again as it was back in those days? What problems do you think will be encountered during such a de-merger?
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 09:10
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Devil

Stick Rudder. Well said and pointed out. Maharaja of Kuch nahipur is crying like a baby. I do believe the sacked 100 pilots were sacked not after 12 hours but 12 days. Also most of them seem to be FO's and in the age category of under 38.

IPG did not strike in the past cause PP runs their union!

I don't know how far it is true on salaries but I heard the average take home for a Pilot from AI is close to 8 lakhs a month! 400 x 8 lakhs = 32 crores x 12 = 384. IC guys are half the price so there is how one can start saving some money.
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Old 9th Jun 2012, 10:00
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Stick Rudder, well said.

If the pilots were not paid for 5 months, why didn't they leave for some other airline. They know the easy money that they make in Air India will not be possible any where else. I think this is the only reason they don't leave and make it sound like that they are not leaving out of loyalty for the airline.

This strike is totally unjustified.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 09:32
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pilots could NOT [email protected]

1) For the unpaid unhappy pilots who wanted to leave were not allowed to go!

Orders were passed saying no applications for release to be accepted.No pending dues etc settled.....i.e anybody wanting to leave could WALK AWAY at his own peril!

Hope that answers your question.

Last edited by Avfreak; 10th Jun 2012 at 09:33.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 09:38
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wannabe flyersss

When wannabe's start flying....in the real world....they would realize the differences in job profile's of an international wide body pilot and a domestic narrow body pilot.-)

Gettin to the point.No disrespect to anyone here...Its not that one set is superior to the other...no such implications.

Its just different profiles that bring with them different compensations.This practice is internationally followed and as such is the norm.

U cant compare what a specialist cardiologist gets paid with an anesthetic.!!!
they both do their jobs....But the jobs just pay different!simple.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 13:19
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For outsiders like me can you please tell me the difference between Air India and Indian Airlines
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 18:51
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Essentially Indian Airlines was the domestic airline, Air India the international one. Both were govt owned. They were merged a little while ago - and neither camp was/is happy about it.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 19:31
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Avfreak,

Are you having a laugh?

Indian Airlines also operate international routes, the example you gave from the medical profession shows your lack of education and just well really shows you (as an Air India?) pilot in a very bad light.

Big or small aircraft, you are both doing the same job!
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 20:19
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prior to the year 1953, only private operators were running airlines. in 1953 govt of india nationalised all the airlines and two companies airindia and indian airlines were formed. airindia mainly operated on international routes while indian airlines operated on domestic routes and mainly neighbouring countries.

In 2007 the govt merged both the companies and named it NACIL National Aviation Company of India with the brandname AIRINDIA, probably because airindia had international presence.

Even after 5 years the govt failed to integrate the employees and their issues, employees of both the earlier airlines feel that the other has got a better deal.
The Govt is solely responsible for this mess.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 04:58
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Air India crisis: All pilots on strike to be sacked, say sources

That is a gutsy move and calling their bluff
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 05:32
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If Air India pilots are mentally unstable, as claimed by maharaja, then replacing them with stable and experienced foreign pilots is a very sensible move.
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