AI operates 50 pc flights today | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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AI operates 50 pc flights today

mumbai Updated: May 08, 2011 22:03 IST

With ticket bookings slowly picking up, Air India on Sunday operated about 50 % of its flights, two days after the pilots' strike ended.

The airline expected normal operations within a day or two, an Air India spokeswoman said in Mumbai. The airline operated around 60 per cent of its flights from the city, while overall it is only about 50%. Air India operates over 50 flights from Mumbai daily and over 320 across the country.

In Delhi, AI spokeseprson Kamaljit Rattan said the "passenger load is gradually picking up after we opened bookings yesterday".

Yesterday, AI resumed fresh bookings after a virtual shutdown due to the ten-day strike, which was called off Friday night following an understanding reached between the striking pilots and the Civil Aviation ministry after protracted negotiations.

Air India had suspended fresh bookings on the third day of the strike and was operating about 10 % of its flights across its domestic network.

Officials said getting the planes, grounded for ten days, ready to fly and rostering of pilots and cabin crew has commenced.

The 10-day strike resulted in a loss of about Rs 160 crore with AI ground 90 % of its operations.

About 800 pilots, belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines and owing allegiance to the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) had gone on strike demanding among other things pay parity with Air India colleagues. Several executive pilots had also supported the ICPA.

The strike was called off after the government agreed to revoke all termination and suspension orders, withdraw the derecognition of ICPA and assured the pilots that their demands for pay parity would be considered by the justice Dharmadhikari committee on a priority basis.

The three-member panel, set up to go into all merger-related HR issues, has started work and already met a cross-section of workers.

The pilots were also assured of a probe into their allegations of corruption soon, besides immediate steps to enhance daily utilisation of aircraft and working hours of the cockpit crew by the management.