Aviation News

In a relief to Akasa Air, Delhi HC says DGCA can act against pilots, ET Infra


The Delhi High Court on Wednesday held that aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) can act against pilots who have no been compliant with civil aviation requirements (CAR). In a relief to Akasa Air, it further held that there are no restrictions on the DGCA to take action against pilots in case of default.

The aviation regulator previously informed the Delhi HC that it lacks the authority to intervene in the employment agreements between pilots and airlines, in response to a plea by budget airline Akasa Air seeking action against those who left without serving their mandatory contractual notice period.

The budget carrier moved the HC after over 40 pilots abandoned their duties and left without serving their mandatory contractual notice period. This, in turn, forced a disruption of flights between July and September, necessitating last minute cancellations that stranded customers and caused inconvenience to the travelling public.

Earlier today, Bombay High Court ruled that Akasa Air can proceed in Mumbai with its suit seeking contractual damages from pilots who had allegedly exited the company, without serving a notice period. Originally, Akasa Air had approached the High Court seeking compensation of Rs 21 crore from six pilots for allegedly leaving the carrier without a proper notice period.

However, raising the issue of jurisdiction, the pilots through their counsels argued in the court that they do not reside in Mumbai, and therefore the suit can’t be conducted in Mumbai.

Earlier Airlines informed the Delhi High Court that the Airline’s operations have come to be gravely affected on account of flagrant breaches and violations committed by the Pilots engaged in relation to the agreements between the Airline and the Pilots.

Airlines stated that due to the sudden resignation, it will have to cancel multiple flights in September. The Court was informed also by the airlines that due to these resignations, it had to cancel numerous flights every day this month.

(With inputs from Indu Bhan of ETBureau)

  • Published On Sep 27, 2023 at 04:50 PM IST

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