New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS): Air Akasa clarified that its plea in court is not directed against the DGCA or the Ministry of Civil Aviation but seeks an urgent interpretation and clarification of the interim order issued in 2018 on mandatory notice period requirements for pilots.
"A small set of pilots abandoned their duties and left the organisation without serving their mandatory contractual notice period, therefore forcing a disruption of flights between July and September 2023. This necessitated last-minute cancellations that stranded customers and caused inconvenience to the travelling public," an airline spokesperson said.
"In the interest of passenger convenience, and an attempt to stop this unethical and illegal practice by these set of pilots, Akasa Air has sought relief from the Delhi High Court. We want to clarify that it is not a matter against the DGCA or the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) but a plea to the courts to urgently interpret and clarify the interim order issued by the very same court on the very same matter in 2018, relating to mandatory notice period requirements by the pilots," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson further said that since the beginning of the proceedings, their assertion in court has been that this is a "non-adversarial" claim and is only in the nature of seeking clarifications and instructions to enforce an existing interim order and the Civil Aviation Regulation.
"With the many positive steps being taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to make India’s civil aviation industry profitable, stable, safer, growth oriented and progressive, it is extremely disheartening to see this distorted and incorrectly depicted version of occurrences being presented," said the spokesperson.
"Akasa has been a direct beneficiary of the DGCA and MoCA’s transparent and progressive policies and regulations, and we continue to remain deeply obliged and grateful for their unwavering guidance and support," the spokesperson said.
During the last hearing, Akasa Air had told the Delhi High Court that it faces the necessity of cancelling a substantial number of flights, approximately 600-700, during the month of September. This predicament arises from the sudden resignation of 43 pilots who did not adhere to the stipulated notice period.
Akasa Air also told the court that the airline is currently in a critical situation, having already cancelled an average of 24 flights per day in September due to the unexpected pilot resignations. Despite being only 13 months old, the airline has opted for legal action against the departing pilots and is also pursuing compensation of around Rs 22 crore to account for the loss of revenue caused by grounded aircraft and flight cancellations.
As per airline official, who doesn’t wish to be named, at present, there are over 450 pilots are in the airline, an increase of 30 per cent in the last five months.