As strike action by Air India Executive pilots enters the fourth day, the airline has been forced to cancel more than 20 flights, including 15 from the national capital, as well as suspending bookings for the next 15 days.
“We have deployed additional staff at airports across the country and will ensure that passengers are shifted to flights operated by other airlines,” a senior official of the carrier has revealed.
Ongoing talks between the management and the striking pilots have failed to break the deadlock over the issue of cuts in employment benefits and incentives.
“About 10 domestic flights to Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai and other west-bound destinations were cancelled besides five flights to Kabul, Kathmandu, New York, London and Chicago. The flights have been cancelled after the pilots of these flights reported sick,” the official said.
It is possible that strikes will intensify as pilots working with the airline before its merger also joined the protest. Meanwhile the government is urging a speedy resolution for the cash strapped national carrier, and is also looking to find ways of protecting passengers and avoiding costly disputes in the future.