India’s federal aviation ministry has proposed a uniform pay scale for all pilot groups at state-owned Air India to resolve long-standing disharmony among the carrier’s crewmembers.

Under the proposal from a committee headed by Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari convened to investigate the 2007 merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, the company will now employ equal pay scales and consistent working hours for pilots from the two legacy carriers, two issues that have been the cause of several strike actions since the merger.

The Dharmadhikari committee submitted its report to the Indian government in January, almost five years after the merger. The report was made public June 1.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, explaining the government’s decision to apply the recommendations, said: “A level mapping exercise for employees from the two erstwhile airlines shall be undertaken. This exercise is the key to a successful merger of manpower as employees of two airlines would be placed in a unified pay-scale and common seniority.”

He added that “there will be uniform pay scales for all employees as per industry norms [and] the new promotions policy will give [a] fair chance to pilots from both airlines in terms of career progression.”

The recommendations are likely to be implemented within 45 days, said Singh.

The government intends that this action will end a strike by more than 300 pilots from the legacy Air India over the use of Indian Airlines pilots for the Boeing 787 aircraft, which are due to join the fleet starting this month. The strike has so far cost the airline 2.5 billion rupees ($45 million) in lost revenue.

787 photo: Air India