Recession may be over for the airline sector but for the country's national carrier Air India, its problems are only multiplying. A new RTI document has laid bare the airline's claim that it suffers from a shortage of pilots, reports CNN-IBN.
Air India has the largest fleet in the industry, but information obtained through the RTI Act now shows that Indian Airlines pilots are under-utilised despite the airline's complaints of a pilot shortage. Pilots, bound by contract to fly a minimum of 60 hours, actually fly for less than the minimum.
In December 2010, commanders from all four regions flew just 53, 58 and 49 hours per month which is far below their full capacity.
Pilots say poor management of schedules since Air India-Indian Airlines merger is one reason.
But another reason for this is that there are not enough flights.
A look at the list of domestic and international flights presented before a Rajya Sabha Parliamentary committee last month shows that 32 flights, most with heavy passenger load of 85-95 per cent, one even 100 percent were cancelled outright - all within the last six months.
Insiders say the real beneficiaries of these flight withdrawals have been private airlines that have taken over the same slots and sectors the next day from when these flights were cancelled.
So why were so many profitable flights cancelled, especially when the beneficiaries appear to be private airlines?
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