Union civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on Sunday acknowledged the fact that Air India’s merger with Indian Airlines did not go as “planned” and that “something seriously” had gone wrong.
“Obviously it (the merger) didn’t go as planned. My job now is to see what the current situation is, learn from past mistakes and work to see that Air India succeeds,” Singh told a TV channel.
His statement came a day after he told HT that it would be “difficult” to reinstate sacked Air India pilots. Seventy one pilots have been sacked till date.
The sackings and the AI management’s move to approach the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to cancel the flying licences of 11 pilots leading the agitation have pushed the striking pilots to a corner.
They are now hoping the Centre will reverse its decision. Last year in May, seven IA pilots were sacked when they had gone on strike. They were reinstated when the strike was called off. “This time things are different,” a senior official said.
The pilots have been given four-days time by the DGCA to reply. Meanwhile, the pilots’ agitation entered the sixth day on Sunday, leading to the cancellation of 20 international flights.