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May downsize Air India if pilots' strike continues, warns Ajit Singh

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh today warned the striking Air India pilots that if they continue with their agitation the national carrier could be downsized. AI pilots' strike enters second day | Cause and effect

delhi Updated: May 09, 2012 12:23 IST
AI,air india,pilots' strike

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on Wednesday warned the striking Air India pilots that if they continue their agitation the national carrier will be downsized.

Four international flights of Air India were cancelled from Mumbai and Delhi as the strike by protesting pilots entered the second day on Wednesday, even as the management was mulling the option of moving court against the stir.

"Four flights have been cancelled today, two each from Delhi and Mumbai," Air India spokesperson said.

All other international flights are operating, as a contingency plan has been put in place with the available pilots, he said.

Around 200 Air India pilots owing allegiance to Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) had reported sick on Tuesday resulting in cancellation of at least 13 international flights. The pilots have been protesting against rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training.

Air India management had on Tuesday terminated the services of 10 office-bearers of the Indian Pilots' Guild, which is spearheading the strike, besides de-recognising the guild.

"The management is also mulling the option of approaching court against the pilots' agitation," airline sources said.

Air India passengers, who are suffering due to the ongoing agitation, had heated exchanges with the airline staff in Delhi alleging that they were neither cooperating nor providing any information about their flight or any alternate flights.

Terming the agitation by the pilots as "illegal", civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said the pilots should consider what the result of their action would be.

"Government is trying to bail out and giving lot of money. But part of that bailout is with (strings) that they have to perform. For the last three months Air India was doing better. Now with this action, they should consider what the result would be," he said.

(WIth PTI inputs)

First Published: May 09, 2012 08:45 IST