How much do striking pilots earn?

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They are on a flash strike, demanding better pay and work conditions, causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers. But the pay and allowances of these former Indian Airlines pilots are not paltry either.

According to a spokesperson for the National Aviation Company of India Ltd, co-pilots of Indian Airlines, now co-opted into the merger Air India, earn as much as Rs.225,000 to Rs.325,000 per month, while a commander draws between Rs.400,000 and Rs.500,000.

These pilots want the pay and allowances given to their counterparts in Air India, who earn around Rs.150,000 to Rs.200,000 more, because of higher perquisites — which now includes outstation allowance — that accrue due to international travel.

“The pay and allowances which the former Indian Airlines pilots and co-pilots draw is at par with international standards,” said Amber Dubey, director for aerospace and defence, with the global consultancy KPMG.

“If these emoluments are seen in terms of purchasing power parity, the Indian pilots may, in fact, be better off,” Dubey said.
These pilots also claim that salaries to them, as opposed to those with Air India, are also delayed, even as the arrears have been pending since 2007. They also say that some long-haul flights have been cancelled, resulting in lower allowances. By Rohit Vaid