Air India Latest News: The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association on Thursday wrote a letter to state-run airlines Air India over the proposed pay cut for pilots up to five years and said that they have already not been paid ’70 per cent of their pay since April’. Also Read - Tata Sons Likely to Take Over Air India by End of August

“We have expressed our willingness to negotiate a pay cut in line with the current market conditions,” the ICAA expressed in a letter to Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal. Also Read - International Flights: Air India Closes 5 Stations in Europe Over Losses Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

“The proposed cut is almost 60% of gross emoluments. It is hilarious to note that the top management has proposed a meagre 3.5% cut on its own gross salary,” the pilots’ guild scoffed at the airline’s decision. Also Read - SpiceJet Introduces in-Flight WiFi-enabled Entertainment System 'SpiceScreen'

The ICAA went on to elaborate how the Director Personnel is taking only 4% pay cut when a co-pilot who is paid much lesser is being given a 60% slashed pay. “Is this how the MoCA wants to honour frontline workers,” the pilots’ guild asked.

“We have not been paid 70% of our pay since the month of April 2020. To discuss a retrospective pay cut on the work done is unfair and humiliating to an employee who has been loyal to the company and the Nation,” the letter added.

Earlier today, Air India announced that it has started the process of identifying employees, based on various factors like efficiency, health and redundancy, who will be sent on compulsory leave without pay (LWP) for six months up to five years.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri explained that the equity infusion of Rs 500-600 crore every year is not sustainable and cost-cutting in Air India is necessary to keep the operations functional.

“What are the options that we have got? If the options are if you don’t cut costs severely, and the next time I go to the honourable Finance Minister, it is with some trepidation that I will enter her room,” the aviation minister said at a press conference this afternoon.

Aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. All domestic carriers have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, LWP and firings of employees in order to conserve cash flow.