A Case on Air India’s Pilot
Strike of May 2012
longest pilot stir in 40 years.
• Air India is the flag carrier airline of India. It is part of the
government owned Air India Limited (AIL).
• Tata Sons, a division of Tata Sons Ltd. (now Tata Group) was
founded by J. R. D. Tata in 1932.
• In 1938 it was re-christened as Tata Air Services and later
same year was renamed as Tata Airlines.
• Following the end of World War II, regular commercial service
was restored in India and Tata Airlines became a public limited
company on 29 July 1946 under the name Air India.
• In 1948, after the independence of India, 49% of the airline
was acquired by the Government of India
• Air India Building: The Air India Building is a 23-storey
commercial tower on Marine Drive in Nariman Point,
Mumbai, India. The building serves as the corporate
headquarters for the airline, Air India.
• Air India One: Air India One is the call sign of any Air India
aircraft carrying the Prime Minister of India, President of India
or the Vice President of India. The aircraft are operated as VIP
flights by the Indian Air Force (IAF).
• Air India Cargo: Air India carries all types of cargo including
dangerous goods (hazardous materials) and live animals,
provided such shipments.
• Air India Regional: It operate for domestic destinations as a
subsidiary of Air India.
• Air India Express: It operates services mainly to the Middle
East and Southeast Asia.
• In 2007, the Government of India announced that
Air India would be merged with Indian Airlines.
• As part of the merger process, a new company
called the National Aviation Company of India
Limited (NACIL) was established.
• Around 2006-2007, the airlines began showing
signs of financial distress. The combined losses
for Air India and Indian Airlines in 2006-07 were
770 crores (7.7 billion).
• On 27 February 2011, Air India and Indian Airlines
merged along with their subsidiaries to form Air
• Better salary, promotion and increment.
• Equality between Air India and India Airline
• Reappoint the pilots, who force to resign.
• career progression
• integration across various cadres
• rationalization of pay scale
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE AIR
INDIA STRIKE MAY 2012
• On May 8, 2012 about 100 pilots went on medical leave as a mark
• Later, the same day it sacked ten agitating pilots and de-recognized
their union after 160 pilots failed to join duty by the given deadline.
• After putting forth an original list of 14 demands, the aviators are
now asking for reinstatement of their 101 sacked colleagues
• On the 15th of May, the Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh
stated that the Government was giving Air India one last chance
and that it must perform in order to qualify for a bailout.
• on 4 July 2012 AI management gave an assurance to Delhi High
Court that it would look into the hardships of the pilots
sympathetically, the striking pilots have decided to end the 58 day
old strike immediately.
• Due to pilots' strike Air India suffered a loss of 500 crores (US$90.5
• Efforts are being made to resolve the
• appeal to the pilots that they should think
about the passengers.
• As per Rule 42 (2) of the Aircraft Rules, 1937:
Pilots who have claimed sickness for two
months have been asked to submit medical
reports. But verification of the two-month
long sickness and related tests and reports
may catch pilots on the wrong foot
• An interview with the former executive
director of Air India: Jitender Bhargava
Why so many pilot strikes taken place in Air
Successive managements have also been
insensitive to issues raised by the unions. This is
because of a weak HR setup, lack of structured
policies and their inconsistent application. The
management has taken decisions under duress,
appeasing one section of employees at the
expense of others.
How it End?
• The 58-day protracted strike by Air India pilots was
called off on 4th July after the Delhi high court asked
them to join duty within 48 hours and the
management to sympathetically consider their
• "The AI management shall sympathetically consider
the grievances of the pilots including the aspect of
reinstatement of those pilots whose services were
terminated as a consequence to their strike," Justice
Khetrapal said while disposing of the pilots' plea for a
direction to the AI management to take back the 101
sacked pilots, including 10 IPG office bearers.
• Employee opinion: “The merger created
problems that cannot be solved. Our grades,
work, promotions and allowances are
different. When you see your colleague from
the other cadre doing the same work, but
getting easy promotions, allowances, there is
bound to be resentment,”