NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has informed the Delhi high court it has no power or authority to interfere in the ongoing feud between pilots and Akasa Air, which has sought action against the pilots who resigned without serving the notice period.
The airline has blamed the DGCA for being “unwilling to take any action” and told the court it is facing “significant financial and operational hardship.”
In its response, DGCA said it would be in the interest of the parties that petitioner airline, Akasa Air, complies with the mandate of the aviation regulator to maintain a limited schedule if it does not have the necessary number of pilots to maintain flight operations. The civil aviation regulator responded to a plea by the fledgling airline that it is in a state of crisis following the sudden and abrupt resignation of 43 pilots, who left the airline without serving the mandatory notice period.
Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora had reserved its order on the airline’s plea on September 19 and asked the parties to file their written submissions. The airline and its CEO Vinay Dube approached the high court with their petition on September 14, seeking a direction to the DGCA to take coercive action against these pilots for their “irresponsible actions.”
But the regulator maintained it does not have any power or delegated authority to interfere in any employment contract and decisions in respect of airport operators, airline operators or any other stakeholders. “The DGCA cannot interfere in the employment agreement between airline and the pilots, which itself contains mechanism of termination of pilots…,” the regulator said.
On the airline’s claim of cancellation of about 600 flights since June owing to resignations of pilots, the regulator categorically denied that the company has provided any documents or reasons to it. It added that according to the details submitted by Akasa Air, 1.2% of the flights were cancelled in August 2023.
The regulator said in case of major cancellations due to any reason, such as resignation by a pilot, DGCA ensures that passengers are minimally inconvenienced and that appropriate protection is provided for the air travellers in the event of disruption of flight.
The airline, in its plea, said it has not been able to secure any remedy to protect itself and the public from “reckless and irresponsible” actions of certain pilots and added that it was deeply aggrieved by the “callous” conduct of the pilots.

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