The decision was taken based on the US-India the Air Services Agreement to help the airline chalk out its global expansion in a calibrated manner.
Recently, media reports suggested that Air India has cut employee allowances by up to 50 per cent, extending the cost-cutting measures in less than a week.
Budget carrier SpiceJet on Thursday said it has been designated as the "Indian scheduled carrier", to operate flights to the US. While the airline management puts the reduction at 40%, pilots say their flying allowance - which comprises a majority of their total pay - has been slashed by nearly 85%. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay (LWP) and firing of employees in order to conserve cash. A committee has been set up for "identification of redundant/surplus manpower resources". Moreover, it said employees can voluntarily opt for the LWP scheme too.
The EPA said the "adverse" policy decisions taken by Air India "pose an extremely serious and plausible threat to flight and public safety". "Furthermore, unlike other wars, the enemy has accompanied the warriors home to affect their family members with devastating effect". "At least one pilot has lost a family member to Covid-19 and those of many others have been infected", the letter says. Srivastava said that in the fourth phase of Vande Bharat Mission, 1197 flights have been scheduled so far including 945 global flights and 252 feeder flights.
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Air India on Thursday attempted to placate its agitated employees by assuring them that there would be no lay-offs in the airline.
"Till global civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, I think the answer lies in bilateral air bubbles which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions, including India", Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said, adding that similar arrangements with Germany and the United Kingdom were being worked out too.
Although "rationalisation of allowances" had been implemented, the airline said, adding that it will be reviewed once the domestic and worldwide operations expand to reach pre-Covid levels.
Last week, India signed bilateral agreements with France and the United States that allowed airlines of each country to operate global flights.