AI move to send a mix of pilots for 787 training sparks trouble

Mumbai: Merged entity Air India's move to send 30 pilots, drawn equally from erstwhile Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines, has drawn fire from Indian Pilot's Guild (IPG), a union of pilots that has old Air India cadre as its members.

With the first Dreamliner due in December, the flag carrier is moving a step in advance and sending a batch of senior pilots and first officers for training to Singapore on simulators.

Air India is going ahead with its plans though formal clearance from the government for the acquisition of these futuristic aircraft is still awaited.

According to AI sources, the training is expected to take 15-30 days. The pilots and officers are senior professionals who have flown Boeing 747, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft. Following the simulator training, the pilots will take a check flight with pilots from Boeing.

Initially, about 70 AI pilots will be trained keeping in mind the delivery pattern of the new aircraft.

Boeing is due to provide a simulator to Air India as its part of the aircraft acquisition deal. However, the simulator will arrive only on condition that the airline decides to take deliveries of the aircraft.