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To meet target of 1200 crew, AirIndia to hirestaff that failed fitnesstest
National carrier Air India, which has been reeling under a severe shortage of crew members for a year now, is ready to bring back to service the crew it had grounded for failing fitness tests. “Right now our target is to recruit 1200 crew members. In the first phase a target of 400 has already been achieved. The concern is to fill up the posts. We don’t want to say much on the physical standards aspect for now.” said Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar
Air India had to cancel several flights over the last couple of weeks. Closure of Pakistani air space has only compounded Air India’s problems.On March 15, Air India’s management had asked all its ‘inactive’ cabin crew to report for duty so that flight cancellations could be minimised.
Sources said that over the last couple of weeks, the airlines made calls to at least 50 such grounded crew members informing them of the above decision. However, the move has angered the airline’s union. According to the cabin crew association, employees aren’t happy with this move.“In the first place, as per the Aircraft Rule and Aircraft Act, the DGCA didn’t have the powers to issue CAR (civil aviation requirements) for the cabin crew and the same has been admitted by the airline in BombayHighCourt two years back. The grounding of the crew on failing physical grounds wasn’t legal. Now when the airline needs staff, the crew is being recalled for active services. Is this the way an airline treats its own staff?” said an All India Cabin Crew Association leader on condition of anonymity.
The DGCA in 2014 had drawn up the body mass index (BMI) rules for crew members and after the medical tests, Air India had grounded around 100 crew members.
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