National carrier Air India has called a meeting of its two pilot unions in New Delhi on Monday to discuss various issues, including integration of the unions and salaries, sources said on Sunday.
The meeting assumes significance as it comes days before Air India formally gets inducted as the 27th member of the global airlines’ club, Star Alliance, later this week.
“Two pilot unions IPG and ICPA have been called by the management for a high-level meeting at the Airlines House on Monday,” sources said.
While full agenda of the meeting is not yet known, issues of integration of the unions and salary restructuring plans are expected to be discussed, they said. Sources said that the management, however, will be holding a meeting with the two unions –Indian Pilots Guild (of Air India) and Indian Commercial Pilots Association (of erstwhile Indian Airlines)– separately.
Both IPG and ICPA had in the past been on loggerheads, which had even led to an over two-month strike in the carrier two years ago.
“A committee under former labour secretary Krishna Mohan Sahni has recommended to have only three recognised unions at the national carrier, one each in Air India and its engineering and ground handling subsidiaries,” sources said.
Besides, the issue of restructuring the salary is also likely to be discussed during Monday’s meeting, they said adding the management had come out with a plan in April but had to defer its implementation in view of the elections.
The induction into Star Alliance is expected to improve Air India’s connectivity to high-growth economies and give the 26 Star Alliance members access to India’s vibrant domestic aviation market.
A passenger would be able to access the destinations offered by the entire Star Alliance network of over 21,980 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. All member airlines jointly own 4,338 aircraft which fly over 640 million passengers a year.
Air India would add about 400 daily flights and 35 new destinations in India to the Alliance network, with the biggest growth coming from its home market where it flies to 62 cities.