Akasa Air has sent legal notices to those pilots, who have left the airline without serving the mandatory 6 month notice period. We may soon see a legal stand-off between both the airlines.
Akasa Air : Why legal notices?
Indian aviation has a very absurd Civil Aviation Requirements Rule, which says that a pilot cannot leave the airline whenever he wants. If somebody wants to leave, then they need to fulfill notice period from 6 months to 1 year. The notice period rule is totally fine but 1 year of notice period for captains and 6 months for First Officers is something, which is hard to digest.
Air India Express, which is looking at delivery of 50 Boeing 737 MAX by December 2024 has recently started recruiting Boeing 737 MAX pilots. The only Indian airlines with MAX pilots pool are SpiceJet and Akasa Air. Pilots from both the airlines rushed towards Air India Express given the credibility of the employer and in hope that they will get good working conditions.
Since May, some 19 pilots have left Akasa Air to join the TATA Group LCC airline. All these pilots left within a week after giving letter of resignation. As a result of which, the airline has seen massive wave of rescheduling and cancellations. Add to that, the airline is currently removing the A++ cabin from its ex-Jet Airways aircraft and hence, it can not afford such pilot resignations.
We may soon see a legal standoff between both the airlines as Air India Express has negated the claims of Akasa Air. Air India Express said that all recruited pilots have paid their bond amount of upto Rs 50 lakhs. This included their training amount. When you immediately leave your airline breaching the contract, then you have to pay a certain bond amount, which vary from airline to airline.
Akasa Air has already knocked the doors of DGCA but returned disappointed. Now, both airlines will fight it legally. Akasa Air has hired Nora Chambers to represent it in the court. Air India Express is supporting its pilots by enlisting Indus Law as their representative to fight the legal battle.
This is not the first time that an Indian airline has sent legal notices to its pilots. SpiceJet has sent legal notices to many pilots in April this year, who left the airline without serving their notice periods.
Source Credits : Times of India