Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the NSC Bose International airport on Wednesday morning as no Indian planes took off due to a flash strike by membrers of the Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU), one of the seven unions recognised by the Indian authorities.
About 700 ground and technical staff affiliated to the union struck work in response to a call by its all-India body in support of its demands.
Indian sources said that hundreds of passengers were detained at the airport due to the strike.
The Port Blair bound Indian aircraft could not take off in the absence of cabin crew, sources said.
The national carrier authorities were trying to maintain trunk route schedule with the help of officers and other non-ACEU members and casual workers.
Airport sources said that the striking employees were holding demonstration outside the airport building and the CISF jawans, in charge of airport security, were keeping a tight vigil.
The Indian management on Tuesday night declared the flash strike by its ground staff across the country as illegal.
An estimated 12,000 ground staff of the airlines went on an indefinite strike from late Tuesday evening accusing the management of going back on its assurances to them on their demands for wage arrears and better promotional prospects.