National carrier Air India on Sunday agreed to restore the productivity—linked incentive (PLI) to placate its agitating senior pilots but they refused to call off their strike.

Even as the management offered the olive branch after five—hour talks, the pilots have demanded that they also be paid their three—months arrears.

“The management has agreed to reverse PLI but they haven’t made any commitment to pay our three—months arrears. We will call off our strike only when the airline assures us of this,” Captain V.K. Bhalla, who is representing the agitating senior executive pilots, told IANS.

A senior airline official said a committee would be constituted to look into the the PLI modalities.

Around 400 senior executive pilots have threatened to go on mass sick leave to protest the airline’s decision to cut their incentives.

At least 33 flights, including international flights, were cancelled on Sunday, the second day of the strike. Eleven flights were cancelled on Saturday as several pilots failed to report for duty.

“International flights from Delhi to Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, Kathmandu and a few other destinations were cancelled as some pilots put on duty did not report for work,” an Air India official told IANS.

The beleaguered carrier on Wednesday had decided to slash the PLIs of employees by 25 to 50 per cent as part of its cost—cutting measures. The airline’s current debt is about Rs.16,500 crore and its losses stood at Rs.7,200 crore in fiscal 2008—09 that ended on March 31.

Keywords: Air Indiapilotsstrikesalarytalks

More In: Business | News | National