Pilots' strike: Jet cancels 260 flights
Jet Airways today cancelled 260 flights, including 25 international, as the pilots' strike entered the fifth day. A marathon meeting between the Jet management and the striking pilots in New Delhi on Friday remained inconclusive.india Updated: Sep 12, 2009 14:47 IST
Jet Airways' 260 domestic and international flights, including 32 from the national capital, were cancelled on Saturday as the strike by the pilots entered the fifth day after nine-hour long conciliation talks between them and the management ended in a deadlock.
The pilots maintained that they were "hopeful" of a breakthrough as negotiations will continue today.
"A total of 235 domestic and 25 international flights remained cancelled for the fifth consecutive day today," the airlines said in a statement.
Jet tried to accommodate some of its passengers in its low-cost arm JetLite by combining the flights on Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Vadodara, Mumbai-Kochi, Mumbai-Mangalore, Kolkata-Bangalore, Kolkata-Guwahati, Mumbai-Mangalore and Kolkata-Agartala sectors. The airlines also merged their Chennai-Mumbai and Bangalore-Mumbai to fly on Bangalore-Chennai-Mumbai sector.
The airlines runs a total of 380 flights to domestic and international destinations.
The strike by the pilots has caused huge loss of revenue for the airlines. Jet's ticketing and check-in counters at the IGI airport in New Delhi wore a deserted look.
On Friday, the pilots and the management representatives sat for face-to-face negotiations for the first time since the stir started on Tuesday, but the marathon talks before Chief Labour Commissioner in New Delhi ended inconclusively.
The talks would continue today in Mumbai, with only the two sides present.
According to Capt Girish Kaushik, the president of the pilots' body National Aviators Guild (NAG) leading the stir, the pilots will not resume work "as of now" and the agitation will continue.
He said he was "hopeful" of resolving the issue soon.
The management is ready to take back four sacked pilots, the main demand of the agitators, but wants "pre-conditions" to be applied to the NAG, a member of the pilots' union said on condition of anonymity. "But we want the law of the land to dictate the fate of NAG," he said.
A solution to end the stir which had severely disrupted flights affecting thousands of passengers was widely expected on the first day of conciliation talks on Friday especially after the two sides were reported to have worked out a broad understanding on Thursday night to break the impasse.
Sources said the talks saw a lot of hard bargaining by the two sides especially over issues which have a larger impact on the employees of the private airline.