While the civil aviation ministry on Thursday said that the 1,600 pilots of Air India are paid Rs800 crore as salaries every month, the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA) said that only 40% of the amount goes to the Indian pilots.
They also said that the aviation ministry has been sitting on their demands to bring in parity in the wages of Indian Airlines and AI pilots and till date there have been 20 committees and consultancies appointed, yet nothing has worked out and a lot of money has been wasted in the process.
Reacting to aviation minister Ravi Vayalar's comments that the AI pilots salaries constitute a huge chunk of expenditure, the ICPA said that what is paid to them is considerably less than what is paid to AI pilots.Of the Rs 800 crore, 60-70% goes to AI pilots as they have a fixed salary component where the company has to pay them for 80 hours of flying.
While we are paid on hourly basis and with our under-utilisation, our salaries have gone down to 40% of theamount, said an ICPA member.
The ICPA also questioned the manner in which the merger of the two companies was handled. They spent more than Rs300 crore to manage the merger, but nothing came out of it, said an ICPA member. They hired global consultants Accenture for Rs200 crore to oversee the integration process of AI and IA.
Then they hired financial advisory firm Deloitte for Rs90 crore to seek recommendations over lessening the wage bill and fuel cost and still the company is making losses, said Captain Rishabh Kapoor, general secretary, ICPA.
AIs annual wage bill is Rs3,100 crore while fuel bill is Rs 4,000 crore.