With the agitation by Air India pilots entering the fifth day on Saturday, the national carrier cancelled 16 flights from New Delhi and Mumbai even as senior pilots sought the Prime Minister's intervention to end the impasse.
"16 of our flights originating from Delhi and Mumbai have been cancelled," an AI spokesperson said.
Supporting the agitation, senior pilots wrote a letter to the chairman and managing director of AI and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying the demand of the pilots were genuine and they should be looked into, sources said.
About 200 pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots' Guild are on strike since Tuesday protesting rescheduling of training on Dreamliner and issues related to career progression.
Taking a tough stand, the Air India management had on Friday sacked 25 pilots. With this, the total number of pilots whose services have been terminated has gone upto 71.
AI has 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 IPG has said that they are ready for talks and have sought time for a meeting with civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.
The minister has asked the pilots to return to work and assured them that their demands will be heard.