sanjet
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Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Tue May 08, 2012 3:31 pm

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/ar...a-cancels-flights-as-pilots-strike

Quote:
Air India cancelled four international flights Tuesday after about 150 pilots failed to turn up for work in a protest against unpaid salaries and working conditions.

The airline has sacked 10 pilots and has ordered the striking pilots to return to work by Tuesday evening, said K. Swaminathan, an Air India official.

Interesting times at this airline. From what I hear they are striking because they all want to fly the 787? If that's so, seems a little selfish considering the financial situation they are in. A lot of good flights have been canceled last night, this is not good for the loyalty of the customers.
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acws777
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Tue May 08, 2012 3:57 pm

Haha, this is a first for me, striking to fly an airplane. Well Air India needs to order more 787 then. My apologies for the passengers whose travel plans are being interrupted.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Tue May 08, 2012 4:55 pm

The dispute is over Air India training Indian Airlines pilots to fly the 787.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17986892

"Air India pilots have said the planes were ordered before the merger, so they should be preferred for training.
According to reports in the Indian media, another 150 pilots were expected to miss work later on Tuesday."

Silly,just silly. At least the government has agreed to prop up this loss maker until 2020.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Tue May 08, 2012 5:00 pm

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 2):
"Air India pilots have said the planes were ordered before the merger, so they should be preferred for training.

Somehow this stuff always occurs in AI alone....wonder why....
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aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Tue May 08, 2012 5:06 pm

http://aeroblogger.com/home/blog/ipg-illegal-strike/

Quote:
You may not have heard, but Air India’s pilots have been bickering for some time. They are split into two unions, the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) which is made up of pre-merger Air India pilots, and the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) which represents the pre-merger Indian Airlines pilots.

The IPG felt that Air India should only train IPG pilots on the new state-of-the-art Boeing 787s that Air India is receiving, because pre-merger Air India ordered the 787s. In comparison, the ICPA felt that an equal number of ICPA and IPG pilots should fly the 787s. The management agreed with the ICPA, because they felt that it is a fairer way. There has been a few court battles, and both unions were trying to negotiate with management. A few weeks ago, the enmity got so bad that some IPG pilots faked sick so that a flight carrying ICPA pilots to 787 training would get cancelled. The pilots arrived a day late to training.

The courts sided with management and the ICPA. Yesterday, talks broke down between the IPG and management. Ignoring all rules regulating how strikes are to be carried out, the IPG held a “sick-out” yesterday evening, with almost 160 pilots reporting sick. 10 longhaul flights were cancelled. Today, more pilots were planning to report in sick, but AI’s management did something commendable. They fought back.
...

Very commendable response from AI's management here. Shows that they aren't willing to take this kind of nonsense.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Wed May 09, 2012 11:40 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 4):
Very commendable response from AI's management here. Shows that they aren't willing to take this kind of nonsense.

Lets see how it concludes......Normal trend is to take back the sacked staff & request for another date to debate the same  
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Nimish
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Fri May 11, 2012 5:38 pm

So it's been 5 days now with the airline on strike? The management is working on a "contingency plan" now. The management has also moved the supreme court to get the court to order the pilots back to work. In the mean time the mgmt has sacked another 25 pilots today (per news reports).

Seems like the mess is here for another couple of days at least!
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MaverickM11
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Fri May 11, 2012 5:51 pm

I hope EK/QR/EY are sending flowers and thank you cards to the government of India and AI's employees 
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aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Fri May 11, 2012 9:09 pm

The number of pilots sacked is up to 75 now. Air India is also moving the DGCA to cancel some of their licenses, which is unprecedented.

Quoting Nimish (Reply 6):
The management is working on a "contingency plan" now.

I've gotten a summary from an exec at AI, and assuming it's implemented correctly, it sounds good. The contingency plan involves getting management/retired pilots to operate as many AI aircraft as possible, and wetleasing planes to cover the difference.

This strike is costing AI about 20-25 crores per day by conservative estimates.
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anshuk
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 12:21 am

I can't believe how selfish and childish AI pilots are being. Of course, everyone wants to play with the new toy. But you can't escape the fact that you all work for the same company now - NACIL. IC is history and there is no reason for the pilots to be treated any differently. And I wouldn't be surprised if all the pilots reporting sick at the moment have much less experience than the IC pilots selected to fly the 787. Their selfish behaviour is holding the airline and thousands of its customers hostage.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 6:06 am

Quoting Nimish (Reply 6):
eems like the mess is here for another couple of days at least!

I'm flabbergasted. How did the IPG pilots think the international press would react.

How does damaging the customer base for one's employer help? I support the right to strike. I just think the pilots went about this all wrong from a PR perspective.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 7):

I hope EK/QR/EY are sending flowers and thank you cards to the government of India and AI's employees

The short term spike in fares must be helping, but it doesn't seem that much of a spike (I've read 25% increase in spot fares). Is this a slow season for international travel in and out of india?

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 8):
This strike is costing AI about 20-25 crores per day by conservative estimates.

I might be confused on the currency, but isn't that 200,000,000 to 250,000,000 rupes per day?!? Or about $4 million USD per day? (Note, I'm asking as I'm just using an online currency converter.)

What is this discussion of reopening talks? If it went through the courts, it is a done deal. This link implies 10 to 12 crores per day:
http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/257023/...lots-in-4-days-crisis-worsens.html

This cannot be helping other business in India.

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aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 6:38 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 10):

I might be confused on the currency, but isn't that 200,000,000 to 250,000,000 rupes per day?!? Or about $4 million USD per day? (Note, I'm asking as I'm just using an online currency converter.)

Yep.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 10):
This link implies 10 to 12 crores per day:

10-12 crores per day of revenue loss on international routes. Another 6 or 7 crore from hotels, meals, taxi vouchers to go home for passengers. There's also 4 or 5 crores of cost for other administrative expenses such as sending doctors to pilots homes, reassigning ICPA pilots to international routes (and overtime pay for these pilots), parking for aircraft stranded at outstations, etc. Not to mention unquantifiable damage to the Air India brand.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 10):

I'm flabbergasted. How did the IPG pilots think the international press would react.

It's not just how the press would react. I'm flabbergasted that the IPG is striking after the courts have ruled against them (court decision said that ICPA pilots have equal right to fly 787).

And how did they think management would react? Just roll over, accept that only they get to fly on the 787, and that they can fly First Class to the USA for free?

[Edited 2012-05-11 23:43:09]
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AI
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 8:07 am

At the end of the day it doesnt matter what X thinks, says etc. All that matters is will GoI have the guts to put an end to this & show AI employees who is in charge. I dont think so.
 
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 8:17 am

Quoting AI (Reply 12):
At the end of the day it doesnt matter what X thinks, says etc. All that matters is will GoI have the guts to put an end to this & show AI employees who is in charge. I dont think so.

They've fired 75 pilots in a union which is backed by (Praful Patel's) Nationalist Congress Party. That's taking some massive guts already.
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AI
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 8:32 am

Thats right. But we all know that they will be taken back. There wont be any long term consequences for any employee nor any lessons learnt or long term solutions for the future.
 
aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 8:48 am

We'll see. Rohit Nandan is absolutely furious. I've never seen the CMD and Civil Aviation Minister so worked up before in my life. It wouldn't surprise me if there aren't reinstatements.

AI is going so far as to get some licenses cancelled - once the pilot doesn't have a license, they can't be reinstated.

[Edited 2012-05-12 01:55:00]
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HAWK21M
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 9:52 am

Things are getting mighty serious now.......I feel the Mgmt wont back down this time especially after the financial assistance provided to AI .
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aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 9:55 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 16):
Things are getting mighty serious now.......I feel the Mgmt wont back down this time especially after the financial assistance provided to AI .

Exactly.

And in many ways, its a good thing. It'll teach the IPG that the new AI can't be walked over by the unions without serious consequences.

Now if there was a way to teach polticians the same thing   
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HAWK21M
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 9:58 am

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 17):

Now if there was a way to teach polticians the same thing

Keep them out of organisations & things will be better.....
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lightsaber
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 4:47 pm

Serious question, since the pilot unions will not play nice with each other, I ask if the 787 will be exclusively crewed by one union or the other for each flight? I realize 50% of the pilots will be from each union. But perhaps a flight DEL-XXX will always be by IPG pilots but DEL-YYY by IPCA? Or will they mix crews?

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 11):
10-12 crores per day of revenue loss on international routes. Another 6 or 7 crore from hotels, meals, taxi vouchers to go home for passengers. There's also 4 or 5 crores of cost for other administrative expenses such as sending doctors to pilots homes, reassigning ICPA pilots to international routes (and overtime pay for these pilots), parking for aircraft stranded at outstations, etc.

Thank you for the explanation.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 11):
Not to mention unquantifiable damage to the Air India brand.

Sad but true. Which is why AI must stand up and dismiss some pilots permanently. All of them? That I'm not willing to predict, but it could happen.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 11):
I'm flabbergasted that the IPG is striking after the courts have ruled against them (court decision said that ICPA pilots have equal right to fly 787).

   Hence why the PR is very against them. If they want to ignore the legal process, they will not win the public case. In this economic environment, that will be costly.

Quoting AI (Reply 12):
At the end of the day it doesnt matter what X thinks, says etc.

It does from the standpoint of moving IT jobs to India or Malaysia. I have friends who have moved thousands of IT jobs out of India due to the hassle of flying in teams to perform 'snap audits.' The repercussions have been the establishment of a long term viable competitor.

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 17):
It'll teach the IPG that the new AI can't be walked over by the unions without serious consequences.

If AI is going to reform, that must be shown.

Lightsaber
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aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 5:07 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 19):
Serious question, since the pilot unions will not play nice with each other, I ask if the 787 will be exclusively crewed by one union or the other for each flight? I realize 50% of the pilots will be from each union. But perhaps a flight DEL-XXX will always be by IPG pilots but DEL-YYY by IPCA? Or will they mix crews?

I believe that crews will be rotated on routes to maximize productivity. However, the crews will be single union - no IPG Captain and ICPA First officer, or vice versa.
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lightsaber
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Sat May 12, 2012 11:29 pm

Quoting aeroblogger (Reply 20):
I believe that crews will be rotated on routes to maximize productivity. However, the crews will be single union - no IPG Captain and ICPA First officer, or vice versa.

Ok, that works. It will be interesting at the handovers... I do not expect IPG to play nice even after the dust has settled.

Sigh... I'd rather see AI just operating a more economical plane that should allow for improved hubbing. (I'm a little obsessed with the *huge* hubbing potential at DEL that is under-utilized. But that gets into a side discussion of bilaterals...

Lightsaber
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aeroblogger
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RE: Air India Cancels Flights As Pilots Strike

Wed May 16, 2012 5:54 pm

Well, everyone was slamming the IPG over this strike, but I decided to write a piece from their position (I will write a piece from management position next, and hopefully one with ICPA too). Hopefully, my readers are intelligent enough to be able to figure out their opinion after hearing everyone out  

Some of the thing they have to say are a lot more complicated than they initially appear...

Here's an excerpt, because the whole thing is 1500 words+:
http://aeroblogger.com/home/blog/air-india-strike-ipg-perspective/

Quote:
Editorial note: the author does not endorse this perspective, he is simply explaining it for the purpose of public understanding.

As everyone surely is aware by now, the Indian Pilots Guild, Air India’s pre-merger pilot union, is striking right now. What many people do not know is why. Why is the IPG striking?

The mass media was very quick to criticize the IPG. Coming right after a 30,000 crore rupees bailout package was passed, inconveniencing thousands of passengers, and costing Air India 10 or 20 crores a day (not to mention brand damage), this strike was definitely a nuclear option. The IPG pilots not only feel that this strike was justified, they also feel that their perspective and requests are being trivialized.

“There are a lot of legitimate complaints we have. [Minister of Civil Aviation] Ajit Singh has said as much,” said a striking IPG first officer who declined to be named. “Even after saying this, the management and government are doing nothing, and the media, which doesn’t understand the whole story, continues to blast our positions.”

The first complaint that the IPG has concerns Boeing 787 Dreamliner training. The IPG feels that only they should be permitted to fly these state-of-the-art aircraft, ordered by erstwhile Air India. Management feels that the aircraft should be divided on a 1:1 basis between the IPG and the ICPA, erstwhile Indian Airlines’ trade union. The media was quick to criticize this demand, calling the union greedy and selfish. From a layperson’s view, the management seems to make sense – this is a new state-of-the-art aircraft, and all pilots in the merged company should have a chance to fly it.


However, IPG doesn’t see it that way. Air India took delivery of all the new aircraft ordered for Indian Airlines. In addition to taking delivery of these aircraft, Air India also recruited more than enough pilots – in fact, Indian has far more commanders (Captains) than Air India does, because commander upgrades are done within 4 or 5 years, and are time-based instead of requirement-based. Time-based upgrade policy means that no matter what, after a set period of time, the pilot will get upgraded. In comparison, requirement-based policy means that upgrades will only occur if there is requirement for another commander. Air India pays ICPA commanders higher salaries than first officers, at the expense of the company, despite the fact that these commanders are not necessary. With all the aircraft delivered, Indian Airlines has roughly 800 pilots operating 66 aircraft.

In comparison, despite hiring enough pilots to operate all 50 aircraft ordered for erstwhile AI, the IPG only flies 22 aircraft. Since Air India pilots get upgraded to commander at a later stage than their Indian Airlines counterparts, and their contract only allows them to upgrade if there is the necessity for a commander, operating less jets than expected is a severe hit to young IPG pilots’ career progression.

So IPG feels that the management’s decision to let Indian Airlines commanders also fly the 787 is to cut down on salary costs, at the direct expense of IPG members. Since Indian Airlines will produce commanders whether the combined company needs them or not, while erstwhile Air India pilots will not be upgraded unless there are actual aircraft for them to fly, it makes sense to management to send ICPA members to train for the 787.

While some IPG pilots that I’ve communicated with concede that while Air India is losing money, and it does make sense to the management to try to save money, this is not an appropriate way. There are many ways to cut costs that do not affect pilot pay or benefits, and they listed many in a press release. They are very unhappy about it for obvious reasons – they make less money, have less flexibility, and lose other advantages of working for Air India that they thought they had. Not only this, but the IPG claims that management is flouting promises made shortly after the merger took place.

keep reading

Thoughts?
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