In a big blow for flag carrier Air India (AI), 30 senior Boeing 787 Dreamliner pilots have resigned in quick succession setting alarm bells ringing in the state-owned airline and posing a human resource challenge in critical times.
AI, which is surviving on a bailout funded by the taxpayer, spent around Rs 15 crore on training these pilots on its newest jet three years back but with no security bond or contractual obligation, the pilots were free to leave at their own will. The training period can extend up to a few months, reports Hindustan Times.
All those who have quit are senior co-pilots with 4,000 hours of average flying experience. “With half that flying experience you can become a captain in a private airline. But career progression opportunities are limited in AI and for a pilot nothing is more important than getting command,” said a senior AI captain, who did not wish to be named.
As first reported by HT on July 29, two AI co-pilots have already joined SpiceJet and are doing their command training in South Africa.