Air India’s agitating pilots called off their five-day-old stir on Wednesday following a stern “return to work or else” diktat by the government.
The stir left a gaping hole in the state-run carrier’s books, eroding revenues by more than Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion).
The airline has begun fresh passenger and cargo bookings and expects to return to its full normal schedule by Thursday afternoon.
“The pilots will resume duty immediately,” Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said.
The pay cuts the pilots were protesting against have been put on hold. On September 24, Air India’s board had approved a controversial order slashing productivity-linked incentives (PLI) by 50 per cent for its executive cadre employees. These incentives account for the bulk of pilots’ salaries.
“The agitation is being called off in view of the assurances by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel that status quo will
continue on issues,” said Captain V.K. Bhalla, who was heading the agitation.