New Delhi: Despite massive protests from the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) and other workers, Air India on Wednesday deducted the employee allowances by up to 50 per cent. Also Read - Vande Bharat Mission Will Continue, Repatriation Flights Have no Problem: Ministry of Civil Aviation After Kozhikode Crash

Releasing an official order, the national carrier said that the move has been taken as per the directions from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and approval from the Board of Directors of Air lndia Ltd. Also Read - Air India Plane Crash 2020: Who Witnessed The Mishap First? What Exactly Happened When Flight No IX-334 Skidded Off Runway

In the official order, Air India said that the rationalisation of allowances will be effective from April 1, 2020 and shall remain in force till further review by the board. It said that the deduction in salary is done an across the board for all employees, and not just the pilots and the other flying staff. Also Read - Kerala Crash: Dubai-Kozhikode Aircraft Was at Full Speed While Landing at Karipur Airport, Says DGCA

However, the salary and allowances (such as lDA, HRA and other allowances linked to basic pay) will remain unchanged.

Earlier, the ICPA in a letter of protest to Air India said that any unilateral change by Air India in the salaries of pilots would be illegal and has the potential to flare-up to a situation of unprecedented magnitude.

The development comes as the national carrier had proposed a 60 per cent salary cut for pilots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In the new order released today, Air India said that the rate of allowances other than DPE allowances will stand reduced by 40 per cent of the approved allowances. These include flying allowance, executive flying allowance, special pay wide body allowance, domestic layover allowance, quick return allowance, high altitude allowance, check allowance, instructor allowance, examiner allowance and additional landing allowance.

Flying allowance to be paid on actual hours flown by an individual pilot in a month. Simulator training hours will be paid on the revised rate of flying allowance. The overtime rate beyond 70 hours in a month shall be 125 per cent of the revised rate of flying allowance, while layover allowance at stations outside lndia will be payable as per the notified government rates.

For general category officers, salary and allowances (i.e. basic, IDA and HRA linked to basic pay) will remain unchanged. However, the other allowances will be reduced by 50 per cent.

For general category staff, allowances will be reduced by 30 per cent and same is the case with operators. For the permanent and contractual cabin crew, allowances will be reduced by 20 per cent.

For all categories of employees, including flying crew, foreign travel allowances/foreign daily allowance will be payable as per notified government rates vide MEA’s order dated September 21, 2010. The layover allowance for the flying crew will stand amended accordingly.

For employees (both permanent and FTC) with gross salary up to Rs 25,000 a month, there will be no reduction in salary.

Further, fixed term contractual employees other than pilots and cabin crew with gross salary (excluding PF contribution) of more than Rs 25,000 per month will also be subject to similar reduction, i.e., 50 per cent of other allowances for executives and 30 per cent of other allowances for staff categories of employees.

Non-qualifying personal pay for permanent employees, wherever applicable, will be included in the definition of other allowances for the purpose of deduction.

(With inputs from IANS, PTI)