The Airport Authority Employees’ Union (AAEU) has threatened an indefinite strike across 127 airports in the country from midnight on March 12.
However, fliers travelling between Mumbai and Delhi will not be affected as both airports are privatised. “We have resources to handle the strike for at least a week,” said a spokesperson from Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL). “Housekeeping will be outsourced, and for emergency services we have a reserve team.”
Both Mumbai and Delhi airports handle around 750 take-offs and landings per day; together they account for 60 per cent of the country’s air traffic.
The AAEU is protesting the closure of the government-run Hyderabad and Bangalore airports. Two new airports managed by the private sector are set open soon in the two cities.
According to officials, airports handled by the Airports Authority of India will not be badly hit either. An airport official at Ahmedabad airport, requesting anonymity, said: “The Air Traffic Control will function as usual.”
The state governments usually deploy armed forces for emergency services during strikes in airports handled by AAI.