Indian pilots of the Jet Airways have been asked by its union not to operate flights with foreign pilots from May 1.
The National Aviator's Guild (NAG), the union of Jet Airways's pilots, has demanded that the airline removes all foreign pilots after a recent incident in which foreign pilots allegedly assaulted a designated examiner during a training session in Bengaluru.
Referring to alleged cases of harsh behaviour by expat pilots towards Indian pilots and passengers, NAG has issued a directive to its membrs asking them not to fly with the expats from next month.
NAG, in its directive, said, "The safety of our passengers and pilots is of prime importance and these kind of issues cannot be tolerated at all. The expats are also a huge drain on the company's and the nation's finances."
The airline currently employs around 60 foreign pilots. The union has more than 900 members.
In a statement, the company said that it is an equal opportunities employer and has a limited percentage of expatriate pilots.
"Jet Airways is an equal opportunities employer. It employs human capital which is diverse in race, gender, caste, creed or religion. We today, employ a multi-cultural workforce of over 15000 people across the globe and are regarded as an employer of choice in the aviation sector," said a Jet Airways Spokesperson said.
"As an Indian airline operating internationally, Jet Airways has always focused on recruiting the brightest talent and today, has best-in-class cockpit crew from around the world, including a limited (marginal) percentage of expatriate pilots. Jet Airways is committed to offer equal opportunities to all pilots and follows a structured plan for their recruitment based on business outlook," the statement said.
The NAG, however, said that India has no dearth of talent when it comes to aviation and many are sitting idle.
"India has no dearth of talent when it comes to aviation. There are enough and many CPL (commercial pilot licence) holders sitting idle, waiting endlessly, for years on end at times, to get a decent job. While we understand the requirement to hire expats when a new aircraft type is inducted into the company, it has been over 15 years since Jet Airways hired its first expat and we still retain a significant number," the NAG directive said.
"We feel the management has had more than enough time to replace the expats with Indian national pilots. We therefore demand that all expats be released immediately. We trust the management will understand the angst of our members in this matter and join us in ensuring that we can take pride in being a nationally conscious company. Keeping the safety of our passengers and members in mind, NAG committee hereby issues a directive to all trainers not to conduct training/checking any expats effective April 16, 2017, and line pilots not to fly with expats from May 1, 2017, onwards," it added.