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AI pilots on strike, many flights hit, no end in sight

Posted by on April 28, 2011 0 Comment

The strike by some Air India domestic pilots led to the several flights being cancelled and hardship to thousands of passengers Wednesday, as the government backed the Air India management’s decision to sack six striking pilots and suspend two others. More dismissals could be in the offing if the strike doesn’t end soon, with civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi warning that “a few pilots cannot dictate terms to the government”.

Till late Wednesday evening, however, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association showed no signs of backing down. More flight cancellations are possible on Thursday.

Justice Gita Mittal of the Delhi high court on Wednesday barred the pilots from any demonstrations and asked the 800-odd pilots to end their agitation and resume duty in “larger public interest”. The ICPA pilots said they would petition the Supreme Court following the high court’s order.

The pilots sacked on Wednesday include ICPA office-bearers A.S. Bhinder and Rishabh Kapur, the strike leaders. Air India on Wednesday morning declared the strike illegal, derecognised the ICPA and sealed the union’s offices. Some domestic pilots had struck from 12.01 am Wed-nesday demanding wage parity with pilots operating international flights. Asian Age

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