Re-hire pilots along with arrears – Delhi HC to Air India’s order to terminate pilots

The Delhi Supreme Court came to the rescue for Air India pilots, including contract pilots whose services the company had terminated last year due to financial difficulties and ordered the reinstatement of all those pilots and their wages arrears.

The bank came to the aid of Air India pilots affected by the company’s termination order in August 2020. The bank issued this order orally and stated that the written order would be issued the next day.

In the present case, 48 pilots who were involved in flying the Airbus 320 fleet were laid off by Air India. These employees had announced their departure, but withdrew it again within six months of the notice period. Withdrawal of the withdrawal was accepted earlier by the airline but later withdrawn and their services ceased with immediate effect.

Affected by this, all 48 pilots had submitted petitions and asked the court for help.

According to the company, the company’s operations were impacted after that decision was made due to the financial constraints and impact of COVID-19.

The petitions alleged that the operational problem was only a small fraction of the pre-COVID level and that the current situation of the pandemic is unlikely to change in the near future. They said the reason for the termination was the huge losses due to which the company was unable to pay them.

The bank canceled Air India’s order. However, the bank believed that contract renewal in the near future would be at the company’s discretion, depending on the performance of the contractual pilots.

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