AI pilots offered sops, but may continue stir

Seeking to buy peace with its 'sick' pilots, the management of national carrier Air India has put on hold a move to cut their productivity-linked incentives, and decided to set up a committee to look into this key issue which triggered the two-day stir led by executive pilots.

"The committee would address the concerns of the agitating pilots over the cut in the PLIs," an Air India spokesman said in Mumbai. The committee would comprise the executive director finance, executive director industrial relations, general manager operations in Mumbai, and four representatives of the executive pilots, he added.

This was the outcome of a four-hour meeting between Air India chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav with representatives of the agitating pilots, as the stir entered its second day on Saturday, disrupting 30 domestic and international flights.

However, the pilots seem to be in no mood to accept management sops. The Delhi-based executive pilots who are spearheading the stir were holding a meeting at the same time to discuss the management decision.

The Air India spokesman said that the modalities of PLI cut, ''whether it was 50 per cent or 70 per cent'', would be looked into by this committee, and the management would articulate these concerns.'' He added that the entire ''problem'' (agitation by the pilots) was caused by a 24 September office order regarding the cut in the PLI, which is not applicable as of now.

About 20 executive pilots participated in the meeting with the CMD and they now will in turn talk to their counterparts in other parts of the country, he added.