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Air India pilots fly under protest, serve legal notice to management



Air India pilots seem to be heading for yet another showdown with the management by flying "under protest" over the recent changes in their flight duty hours which they slammed as "arbitrary and illegal".

"AI management has issued a new route pattern effective September 16, which the ICPA feels is in violation of their bilateral agreements," the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA), a union of erstwhile Indian Airlines pilot with over 600 members, said in a statement.

A letter notifying that the flights were being operated by ICPA members "under protest and without prejudice to their rights" has been issued to GM operations (In-charge Airbus Fleet).

Observing that pilots were not aware of the norms and regulations of the new scheme, the statement said "in these circumstances, the ICPA states that any inadvertent violation on the part of our pilots of the applicable norms and regulations is entirely at the risk and expense of the management."

The pilots' body also shot off a legal notice to Air India CMD Rohit Nandan asking him not to "unilaterally alter the Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL)" without consulting the unions, as the prevailing flying norms were governed by agreements between pilots and the management, with aviation regulator DGCA also giving its nod to it. 

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