As Jet Airways pilots were on Thursday huddled together in Mumbai to take a "final call" on their future course of action, the carrier's ground staff appealed to them to withdraw their agitation and "not put our future at risk".
"We appeal to the pilots to give up their agitation. Our airline is making losses and now due to the pilots' agitation, our revenue is going to other airlines. How will we get our salaries?" Ashwani, a Jet Airways supervisor, said to reporters in the national capital.
The ground staff said while they were sympathetic to the problems of the pilots, there was always a way to resolve issues.
"We are already going through recession. Our salaries will be delayed. The airline is already undergoing losses. The pilots cannot put our future at risk," said Jagjeet Kaur, a customer care executive.
"Just because of these 600 pilots, 13,000 other employees cannot be made to suffer. We are with (chairman) Mr Naresh Goyal in this time of crisis," she added.
The strike has already resulted in the cancellation of nearly 450 flights and has inconvenienced over 28,000 passengers in the past two days.
Thursday saw 230 domestic and international flights being cancelled.
Meanwhile, a contempt petition has been filed against the striking pilots for defying the Bombay High Court ruling asking them not to halt work.
According to a Jet Airways spokesperson, Justice D Y Chandrachud of the Bombay High Court has directed a contempt notice to be issued to the National Aviators Guild (NAG), of which the striking pilots are members. It will be heard in New Delhi on Monday.
The management action came after talks between the pilots and the management failed to resolve the crisis late on Wednesday night and the deadlock continued. The striking pilots are demanding re-instatement of their sacked colleagues.
"We and our boys are only fighting for our constitutional rights. We are so disgusted about the whole issue. No one is helping us," NAG president Girish Kaushik told IANS.
"I am afraid they may book us under TADA," said Kaushik, referring to the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
The Jet management is insisting that the pilots who reported sick and went on mass leave should provide medical certificates.