AI strike enters 15th day, pilots not listening: govt
This forces the airline to extend its contingency plan of curtailed operations to June 1
The strike by a section of Air India pilots entered the 15th day today, forcing the airline to extend its contingency plan of curtailed operations to June 1.
"The contingency plan that we have put in place has now been extended to June 1 from May 25," Air India sources told PTI.
The ongoing crisis in Air India figured in the Rajya Sabha with Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh putting the onus on over 200 agitating pilots of the Indian Pilots Guild, saying they were not listening to Government appeals to end the strike.
"I committed in the House that no victimisation would be done...But pilots are not listening. That is where the situation stands today," he said as members from both sides expressed concern over the ongoing strike and its impact on passengers.
Air India's image has been "dented" by the strike, he said while observing that it has come during the peak season and at a time when its revenue had gone up to 35 per cent and ontime performance was improving.
He regretted that the striking pilots, who reported sick and did not resume work, were neither sick nor had visited doctors.
The airline has so far sacked 101 pilots. Five pilots have resumed duty. The IPG has demanded that all those sacked be reinstated and asked the airline to sort out forthwith issues relating to their career progression.
With no signs of an end to the strike, the airlines has decided to accept bookings only for those flights which are being operated under the contingency plan.
Under the plan, which Air India implemented on May 16 following the strike, the national carrier is operating a bare minimum number of international operations by clubbing flights to destinations in Europe and the US.