Air India pilots’ strike enters fifth day

Mumbai, May 12: Four international flights were cancelled and several domestic flights re-scheduled Saturday as the Air India pilots continued to strike for the fifth day, leaving passengers stranded at the airport terminals.

The flights cancelled by Air India include Mumbai-London-Mumbai, Mumbai-Riyadh-Mumbai, Mumbai-Newark-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai-Delhi-Mumbai.

Several domestic flights have also been cancelled and rescheduled as the stand-off between the pilots’ association and the management continued on the fifth day.

On its part, the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), while accusing Air India management of backtracking on its commitments sought Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh’s intervention and appealed him to “open negotiation channels” to resolve the crisis.

Management of Air India has taken action against 71 pilots in four days and also written to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asking it to cancel the licenses of 11 office bearers of the IPG whose services have been terminated.

The carrier has also chalked out a contingency plan to restore partial international flights starting Monday.

Trouble started for the airline Tuesday when pilots belonging to IPG took mass sick leave protesting the move to provide Boeing-787 Dreamliner training to pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines.

The airline has also moved petitions in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court. The apex court will hear the petition along with special leave petition (SLP) filed earlier by the Indian Commercial Pilots Association, the union of erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots.

IANS