New Delhi, June 21 (IBNS) Two executive pilots of national carrier Air India resigned from their posts citing 'fatigue' and 'stress', reports said on Thursday.
After serving the airline for over two decades, two senior commanders S Sen and Rahul Tunara submitted their resignation letters to the management recently and alleged every flight of Air India is a 'disaster in the making' with a major disaster imminent because the airline is forcing fatigued pilots to fly.
In his resignation letter Sen, who is with the airline since 1991, complained of the low safety standards.
Tunara, in his letter dated June 8, said: "There has been no discussion on the safety aspect arising due to low morale because of sacking of 101 pilots, loss of homes due to delayed salaries and mindless rostering of pilots and financial penalties for reporting sick."
As many as 30 executive pilots of Air India reported sick on Tuesday.
The pilots cited excessive work pressure as the reason behind their leave.
The move disrupted service of Air India further that has already been facing tremendous troubles for more than a month due to the ongoing strike by pilots belonging to the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) over salary, promotion and training disputes.
Earlier this month, Air India's executive pilots wrote a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh stating that they are 'fatigued' and it was not possible to maintain the current truncated international operations of the airline.
Air India's executive pilots said in the letter to the minister that it was not possible for them to maintain 38 international operations.
The cash-starved airline is currently flying 38 of the 45 international flights it operates normally and is said to be losing Rs 10-15 crore daily due to the ongoing strike called by pilots belonging to the IPG.
"As there appears to be no resolution to addressing the core problem of the agitating pilots in sight, the senior executive pilots of the airline would like to state that the present flying schedule is unmaintainable," the pilots said in their letter to Singh.
"We wish to place on record that flying the truncated International schedule with just 100 executive pilots is pushing us beyond our limits and we are experiencing the symptoms of cumulative stress and fatigue and will not be able to maintain the schedule for much longer," the letter said.
"In light of the above mentioned problem we do not want to be held responsible or blamed by the Management for the disruption of the flight schedule, further alienating passengers who have continued to have faith and trust in us," it read.
Ajit Singh on June 18 criticisied the striking pilots of Air India and said their strike is 'illegal'.
"It was not a strike because no notice was given. The court also ruled the strike illegal," Singh said while addressing a press conference on June 18.
"We said that they (striking pilots) should come back without pre-conditions. They have disregarded our appeals and court's order," he said.
"We have concluded that they are not interested to come back to work," he said.
Singh on June 17 met members of Air India's Executive Pilots Association in Mumbai.
The Association urged Singh to end the troubles between Air India management and the agitating pilots.
According to reports, Engineers Association of Air India wrote a letter to Singh and urged him to end the deadlock between the management and the striking pilots.
The embattled carrier, whose operations have been seriously crippled due to the strike, has already sacked 101 pilots over their agitation.