Today, the Delhi High Court is hearing a petition submitted by newly launched Akasa Air. It was not long ago that Akasa Air had revealed plans to expand its operations overseas. In July, the airline was talking of hiring 800 new employees by the end of the year 2023. Now media reports say that Akasa Air may have to consider shutting down altogether because many of its pilots have ditched the airline.
Akasa Air has decided to drag 43 pilots to court for joining Air India Express, owned by the Tata Group, without serving their six months’ notice period. The airline is now seeking Rs 22 crore from these pilots as compensation.
The carrier has told the Delhi HC that it is undergoing a crisis situation and may have to shut shop because 43 of its pilots left and joined Air India Express without completing their notice period.
The airline filed a petition in the Bombay High Court too demanding that its pilots pay Rs 22 crore in compensation because the airline claims to have spent that amount on training these pilots and in strengthening its operations. Since August, the airline has had to cancel many of its flights because it was short of pilots.
According to the airline, its ire is targeted at only a few pilots who just ditched the airline without bothering to serve their notice period, which is a part of their work agreement. These pilots violated their contracts as well as the rules of civil aviation. By doing so, the airline accuses these pilots of going against ethics and the law and causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers. Akasa feels that the behavior of these pilots also shows disrespect to the other employees who have been working sincerely.