Day 3: Jet cancels 198 flights; deadlock continues
The Jet Airways pilots strike enters the third day. Jet Airways today cancelled nearly 200 domestic and international flights as its pilots continued their agitation to protest sacking of two of their colleagues.india Updated: Sep 10, 2009 14:18 IST
Jet Airways pilots' stir on Thursday entered the third day amidst indications that no breakthrough was achieved in the talks between the airline management and the agitators as passengers continued to face a harrowing time with nearly 200 flights being cancelled.
Pilots have indicated that they would continue their stir against sacking of two of their colleagues after no headway was made in the discussions between the two sides till late last night with the protestors insisting that their trade union rights cannot be curtailed.
The two parties are likely to meet the Labour commissioner in Mumbai where a case relating to sacking of the two senior pilots is pending.
A spokesperson of the airlines said it has cancelled 163 domestic and 35 international flights as 400 of its over 1000 pilots did not report for duty.
Capt Sam Thomas, Joint General Secretary of National Aviators Guild, which is spearheading the agitation, claimed that overall 500 pilots have reported sick.
"There are no talks so far. We have not got any invite from the management side showing their willingness to talk to us," he said.
Jet cancelled 21 international flights operating on South East Asia sector to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The airlines services to Gulf countries, the US and Europe, to which flights were operated yesterday, were also badly affected. Jet has also cancelled its flight to Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait, US and Europe, airport sources said.
In Delhi, about 15 flights remained cancelled.
"Due to continued pilot agitation, disruptions are expected on the Jet Airways network and consequently, certain flights have been cancelled. On disrupted flights, guests will get full refund or they can reissue/rebook flights without any penalty," a Jet Airways spokesperson said.
Jet Airways is endeavouring to make alternative arrangements on other airlines wherever possible and the airport teams of the airlines will assist its guests to the fullest extent, she said.
The airlines has also tried to accommodate its passengers in its low-cost arm Jetlite.The airlines management has combined 12 Jet flights with JetLite.
To deal with the situation, the airline has set up a crisis management centre, which is continuously monitoring the situation.
At the crisis centre, a team of 15 personnel from planning, revenue management and public relations is working round-the-clock to reschedule various flights and monitor the situation, the airline said.
The stalemate over reinstatement of the sacked pilots by Jet management continued despite five long hours of talks between members of the pilots' union and the management through an interlocutor in Delhi on Wednesday.
Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal had yesterday met Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in the national capital. The minister is understood to have asked Goyal to resolve the issue at the earliest keeping the passengers' inconvenience in mind.
The Bombay High Court had yesterday issued a contempt of court notice to the pilots' union for undertaking the stir despite a restraint order by it.