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Air India pilots threaten to go on strike over Boeing 787 Dreamliners flying issue

"It is my conviction that pilots flying the narrow-bodied aircraft should be trained and exposed to the wide-bodied aircraft," Rohit Nandan said.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 01, 2011, 02.57 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: A group of Air India pilots has threatened to strike work if the national carrier goes ahead with its plan to let pilots of its domestic operations fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which joins the fleet next month.

The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) has said such a move by the management will hinder their career progression. "There was a contract before merger that the first 150 senior pilots from Air India would fly the 787s," said a senior member of IPG, a union of 200 Air India pilots who operate on international routes.

The AI management, however, says all pilots must get an opportunity for career growth.

"It is my conviction that pilots flying the narrow-bodied aircraft should be trained and exposed to the wide-bodied aircraft," Air India chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan told ET. "Initially, all had agreed, but now it has been made into a career progression issue. We are looking at finding a solution to it."

A member of the IPG warned that if the matter was not resolved, pilots would start quitting after giving a notice. "A strike may be called anytime, if not immediately," he said. However, Nandan said no such communication had been made to him. "It is not a management versus employee issue. It is an issue between two groups of employees that needs to be resolved between them."

The development comes four days ahead of the launch of a programme to train pilots on the aircraft.

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