Exodus: 120 A320 first officers have quit AI in last 3-4 months
Mumbai: Air India has been witnessing an exodus of A320 first officers, with about 120 resignations submitted in the past 3-4 months alone, according to airline sources. These youngsters, who occupy the right-hand seat in a cockpit, have been serving their sixmonth notice period.
The reason for quitting ranges from low pay, no career progression and ready availability of jobs in other airlines. The exit hasn’t hit flight operations though as the airline has a surplus of first officers.
“These first officers were taken on a five-year fixed term contract. Most of them joined with only about 250 hours of flying experience, but they quit with 3,000 hours or so. The cost to AI is that of experienced crew leaving as the airline took so much effort to bring them up to a certain level,” said a source.
“These pilots were hired at avery low salary. The difference in their current salary structure and market rate would be more than Rs 1 lakh. Then again, the salary isn’t paid on time,” the source added.
An Air India spokesperson confirmed that first officers have been resigning, but couldn’t give a number.
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AI says they have about 2,000 A320 first officers, so the resignations won't hit operations