Apparently Air India has a significant problem with pilots leaving the airline. 98 pilots quit to join other airlines between April 2014 and October 2015. Pilots get their training, and then leave to go work for another airline because pilots would rather fly for anyone else.
So they’ve fired 3 co-pilots who already quit, in a move to deter pilots from quitting. Because, Air India.
National carrier Air India has terminated the services of three co-pilots for breach of contract in a move to deter pilots from quitting the airline after receiving high-cost type rating training and joining other airlines at higher salary packages.
Air India sources today said that the airline has given these first officers, who fly narrow body Airbus A320, a one month notice while terminating their services.
Since pilots apparently sign 5 year contracts, departing is breach of contract, and Air India is now asking the government to cancel their pilots’ licenses as a result. However, “As per the aviation regulator DGCA norms, a pilot has to serve a minimum of six months with the employer prior to taking up a job with other airline or company.”
Non-compete clauses as complex issues. Indian law aside, employees cannot be held to them in California at all (and this has been true since 1872) except in some very limited circumstances. Hawaii just barred them for tech companies. Where permissible, they’ve been snowballing, Jimmy John’s has even tried to enforce non-compete agreements on sandwich makers and delivery drivers so they couldn’t go to work for Blimpie.
It’s understandable that Air India wants to be able to recoup their training investment in pilots. But instead of retaliating against pilots, they might try to become a more desirable place to work.