Pilots from financially stressed airlines should be allowed to leave their jobs without any coercive action, the Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) has said in a representation to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The pilot’s body has written to the minister seeking his intervention to help Go First pilots facing hurdles in leaving the airline. FIP has urged the government to issue orders to the airline to support such pilots.
“There should be no impediment to their exit from airlines that are distressed and unable to meet the financial obligations to pilots. Those not in a position to pay salaries to pilots must immediately release all affected pilots who tender their resignations without any coercive action,” FIP said in its letter on Monday.
“Where notice periods are applicable, employers must deposit the salary due to pilots well in advance in an escrow account or issue postdated cheques to ensure no default in salary payments occurs,” it added.
Go First temporarily suspended its flights on May 2 and filed for insolvency. The airline management informed pilots that salary would be paid without any cuts but not provided any date. As such, Go First pilots are scouting for opportunities elsewhere.
Most pilots in India have to serve notice periods of six months or more in line with their work contracts. According to regulatory norms, commanders and co-pilots are required to serve one-year notice and six-month notice, respectively. This rule was challenged by three pilot bodies and the matter is pending before the Delhi High Court.
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The pilot’s body has claimed that Go First is not issuing a no objection certificate, no dues certificate, or experience certificate and also not attesting the logbooks of pilots who have resigned from the airline’s service.
“Any prolonged notice period is detrimental to the morale and forces disgruntled pilots to reluctantly continue in a job. This in itself is inherently dangerous,” added FIP.