Ajit Singh meets Manmohan Singh over Air India crisis

New Delhi, May 11: Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Friday met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and apprised him about the latest developments on the Air India pilots’ strike.

“I updated the Prime Minister on the latest developments. Whatever we are doing is according to government policy,” Singh told media after meeting.

“He (Prime Minister) has asked me to ensure that fares should not be increased because of these strikes. The Cabinet has approved a huge amount in the turnover plan to save Air India, but Air India family (union) should understand and co-operate,” he added

Earlier, asserting that Air India needed to stand on its own feet, Ajit Singh said: “We have to see how to make Air India stand on its feet and for that the employees have to work hard. If they only see their personal interest, Air India will sink and all of them will sink with it.”

Stressing on the issue of safety, he said: “Safety cannot be compromised with. We do not have any tolerance in this case.”

Earlier, Singh emphasized that the move of the pilots was hurting the credibility of the national carrier.

“Reach out to me; all it takes is call off the illegal strike. From day one, I have been saying everything is negotiable, at least we can talk. In fact Dharmadhikari Report when it is implemented, all the issues they are raising will come up. The Dharmadhikari Report has already considered all those issues. Still if they want to discuss, they are welcome,” he said, while responding to a question that the guild has sent out a press release giving indication that they are for negotiations.

“But again let them make sure that Air India doesn’t lose credibility and passengers are not inconvenienced,” he added.

The ongoing agitation by pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) is severely affecting the passengers, who allege that they were not being informed about the cancellation of their flights in advance. (ANI)