With more pilots joining the ongoing strike, Air India management has decided to suspend the bookings for the next five days in order to tackle the situation arising out of the stir.
About 200 executive pilots have also joined the strike by pilots associated with the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA). Taking this into account, the airline has decided to suspend the bookings for the next five days, a senior official said.
Earlier on Thursday, civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi met the prime minister to apprise him of the situation and later briefed the Cabinet.
Ravi is understood to have said that he had taken a firm view of the situation and fully supported the actions by the Air India management against the striking pilots.
He also apprised the Cabinet of festering issues that arose after the merger of erstwhile Indian Airlines with Air India and still remain unaddressed.
He informed the Cabinet that combined annual salary of 28,000 Air India staff equals the annual salary of 1,600 pilots, which comes to around Rs 800 crore.
The minister also said that the talks between the Air India management and the striking pilots with the chief labour commissioner NK Prasad ended without result.
"There was conciliation with CLC, he called for the meeting. Air India management attended and also the people from striking union were present. I was told that nothing has come out," Ravi said addressing the media later.
He also said that the CLC directed the pilots to withdraw their strike and continue the discussions with the management.
"But I don't know the response, I believe and as per the reports received from my officers, the response was not positive," Ravi said.
On Wednesday, Ravi had said that the demands of the pilots' union could not be accepted.
He had also appealed to the striking pilots to cooperate and help the airline come out of its crisis.
The civil aviation minister said that good sense should prevail upon the pilots and they should call off their strike.
There will be no talks with pilots until they withdraw their strike, he said.