Air India and Akasa Air Clash Over Pilot Recruitment

Photo of Air India and Akasa Air aircrafts parked side by side at an airport terminal. The scene depicts a sunny day with a clear blue sky

In a recent development, Air India’s CEO, Campbell Wilson, responded to Akasa Air’s concerns over the alleged poaching of pilots.

Background of the Issue
Wilson’s letter, dated September 21, came as a reply to an earlier correspondence from Akasa Air’s CEO, Vinay Dube, from September 11. The central issue revolves around the CAR (Civil Aviation Requirement), which deals with the notice period for pilots switching airlines.

Air India Express’s Defense
Addressing the allegations that Air India Express violated the CAR, Wilson clarified that the specific CAR is under judicial review. Moreover, the DGCA has deemed its provisions non-enforceable due to ongoing legal matters.

Akasa Air’s Previous Actions
Highlighting a potential double standard, Wilson pointed out Akasa Air’s previous hiring actions. The airline had recruited pilots from Air India Express and other local airlines in the past. In a twist, Akasa took legal measures against its pilots who later joined Air India Express.

Warnings & Future Prospects
Wilson warned Akasa about the potential risks of contravening competition laws by restricting employee mobility. In a concluding note, he emphasized Air India’s continued commitment to investing in the aviation industry and fostering a vibrant competitive spirit.

Akasa Air’s Response
An Akasa representative mentioned that the company has moved past the controversy and is now focusing on operations, especially for the festive season.

Conclusion
Wilson accentuated the benefits of competition in the aviation sector and hoped for a continued healthy rivalry with Akasa. With the rapid growth of India’s aviation market, such competitive dynamics are expected to intensify.

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