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Updated: May 11, 2012 13:31 IST

12 Air India flights cancelled

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Passengers wait at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Passengers wait at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata on Thursday. Photo: PTI

As the agitation by protesting pilots entered the fourth day on Friday, 12 Air India international flights were cancelled even as the Civil Aviation Minister hoped that the airline “does not enter the ICU”.

“All our long haul flights to U.S., Europe, Riyadh and Jeddah have been cancelled,” an Air India official said.

This has been done due to non-availability of pilots who are on mass sick leave since Tuesday, he said.

Long overhaul flights to New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Toronto, Frankfurt, London, Paris from Delhi and Mumbai were cancelled. The national carrier has stopped bookings till May 15 on its flights to U.S., Europe and Riyadh.

With pilots remaining defiant, the Air India management had yesterday sacked 9 more pilots.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh expressed hope that pilots will “get well soon as they are sick. Air India is sick and I hope it doesn’t reach ICU”.

Noting that the aviation industry and Air India are passing through a tough phase due to high price of ATF, high service tax along with Airport charges and others, Mr. Singh said he will take up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

On the problems facing Kingfisher, he said, “Kingfisher is a private company and they will have to sort out their problem themselves.”

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Air India must be the biggest loss maker for Govt, today - must be closed IF it cannot be run profitably; why it is kept operating is known to all - to benefit politicians ad nauseum on travels, and make hay ! Pity; a commercial outfit MUST show some gains at least; IF not possible, better to withdraw from the venture eh !
And strike by highly paid pilots is most shameful; yes, salaries must and should be paid regularly by the organization, for sure; but to take passengers for a ride,(instead of real flight ride!)
is most disgusting and deplorable. Time we put an end to this !

from:  Radhik Hairam
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 05:18 IST

I am reminded of J.C. Penney. He had an humble beginninng but a little by little he established the nation wide chain stores J.C.Penney in USA.In its heyday J.C. Penney had stores all over USA. However there was never a store in Hamlet, the birth place of J.C.Penney for a long time. It was because while a young boy Penney got a small job with a local merchant in his Hamlet. As a matter of gratitude Penney stayed away from opening a store there which would have competed with his old employer and wiped out his business. Such was the gratitude of J.C. Penney. Where do these striking Indian employees stand ? They are no J.C. Penneys. In front of people of the calbre of J.C.Penney these employees have no moral ascendency.It is high time they have some introspection and soul searching. However as a Tamil proverb says one can only awaken someone who is sleeping.One cannot awaken someone who is not sleeping. Education is only for the uninformed.

from:  T.S.Krishnaswamy
Posted on: May 12, 2012 at 00:54 IST

This irresponsible behaviour of those who have opted to be in the service industry is highly unacceptable.But the pilots have been deliberately invited by the management to agitate because of ruthless decision making from the very beginning since the merger.The Merger was a good idea,but the management actions that followed it , nosedived the national carrier into deep blues.

from:  Saravanan
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 12:30 IST

It is not Air India which is "sick", it is the government. And it's not
the employees, but Air India itself should be "sacked" and foreign
airlines should be permitted to enter Indian carriers. Since 1997 the
airline has received bailouts of about $625 million. Air India had
greater debts than Kingfisher. Tax payers' contribution is ending up in trash. It is a shame to call Air India as the flag carrier airline of India.

from:  Prashanth
Posted on: May 11, 2012 at 11:39 IST
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