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Air India pilots plea: SC puts ball in ICPA's court over Dreamliner training

The Supreme Court has disposed of a petition pertaining to a dispute between pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India over flying the new Boeing 787 aircraft.

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 28, 2012  | 00:00 IST

The Supreme Court (SC) has disposed of a petition pertaining to a dispute between pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines (IA) and Air India (AI) over flying the new Boeing 787 aircraft.

The apex court stressed that pilots for training on the plane should be drawn equally from both AI and IA till a final adjudication of the dispute by the Bombay High Court (HC).

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had approached the apex court against an interim order by the HC restraining authorities from sending pilots of IA for training on the Boeing 787 aircraft till a final decision on a petition filed by AI pilots.

The AI pilots had filed a writ petition in October 2011 challenging the proposal to reserve half the training slots on the Boeing 787 aircraft for the IA pilots.

Pending adjudication of the matter, the HC in an interim order restrained training of IA pilots till the disposal of the writ petition.

Aggrieved with the interim order, the IA pilots approached the SC alleging discrimination after the merger of IA and AI in August 2008 leading to formation of a new entity known as the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL).

A Bench presided over by Justice T. S. Thakur on Monday decided to remand back the matter for final adjudication by the HC after setting aside its interim order. The IA pilots have been contending that it was presumed that as the organisations came under a common umbrella, there would be just a single common airline with a common pool of pilots and cabin crew.

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