Strike: Air India to hire new pilots

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With the strike by union pilots flying Air India’s global routes nearing a month’s completion, Air India is firming up plans to hire pilots for operating its international flig-hts on a contract basis, well-placed sources in the civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday.

The new jobs are expected to go those who have had experience flying Boeing aircraft on international routes.

“Pilots working both in Indian and foreign carriers are likely to be considered. Advertisements for the new contractual jobs are likely to be issu-ed soon,” the sources said.

This comes even as Air India is all set to unveil a new business plan for international operations that may see the carrier cut down on loss-making routes.

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh is expected to formally announce the salient features of the new business plan on Wednesday.

So far as the pilot strike is concerned, top ministry sources said the 400 pilots of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) — who are currently on strike — have become virtually “irrelevant”
.
Of these, 101 have already been sacked wh-ile the rest are expected to undergo medical tests for fitness that may see them out of action for at least a couple of months even if they rejoin duty immediately, sources pointed out.

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