Air India has decided to allow its pilots to fly till they are 65, internal documents of the Tata Group-owned airline show, as it works on its fleet expansion plans.
“DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) allows pilots to fly till the age of 65 years, compared to the Air India retirement age of 58 years. Allowing pilots to fly till the age of 65 is a practice followed by most airlines in the industry,” the airline’s document dated July 29 stated.
Tata Group-owned Air India is considering buying more than 200 new planes with 70% of them being narrow-bodied aircraft, according to aviation industry sources. The airline’s document said that considering the future expansion plans for its fleet, it is imperative to meet the workforce requirement.
“To meet our requirement, it is proposed to retain our current trained pilots at Air India post-retirement on a contractual basis for five years extendable to 65 years,” it mentioned.
It said that a committee comprising officials of the human resources department, operations department and flight safety department will be constituted to examine the eligibility of pilots retiring in the next two years.
The committee will be responsible for reviewing the past records of the pilots concerning discipline, flight safety and vigilance. After a detailed review, the committee will recommend the shortlisted names to the human resources department’s chief for issuing them post-retirement contracts.
“The contract would be issued for a period of five years extendable up to 65 years,” it mentioned. Upon completion of five years of satisfactory service at the age of 63, a comprehensive examination of their performance will be considered by the committee for further extension till 65 years of age.
Additionally, for airport entry passes and company ID card purposes, the pilots’ application forms will reflect their date of retirement as and when they achieve the age of 65 years so that there can be timely AEP renewal/issuance at the time of post-retirement engagement.
The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27 after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year.
Air India’s newly appointed CMD Campbell Wilson had asked the airline’s integrated operations control centre (IOCC), which is the “nerve centre” of any carrier, to report directly to him and give recommendations on how to improve the on-time performance.