Hit by the flash strike by a large number of staffers that led to cancellation of several flights, Air India management on Tuesday appealed to the agitators to return to work at “this hour of crisis” following Saturday’s air crash that claimed 158 lives.

Confirming cancellation and delays of several flights across different regions, an official statement said Air India was “making every possible effort to maintain normalcy in operations”.

“The airline has been able to operate 116 of the 123 scheduled flights on the network till 1430 hours. While there have been four cancellations, some flights have been delayed or combined”, it said.

While flights from the major Metro cities have not been affected, there have been a few dislocations at some of the non-Metro airports, it said.

Referring to the tragic accident, the airline said, “In this hour of crisis, the Management earnestly appeals to all sections of employees to join hands to strengthen the airline and maintain high performance to show that Air India can cope up with any emergency.”

The National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) “has a well-established system of dealing with any grievance -- be it of an individual employee or groups of employees,” it said, adding that a large number of staff “volunteered to assist and (were) available at the disaster site for helping Air India deal with the tragedy and reach out to the people.”

Maintaining it had mustered all available resources to minimise the impact on the scheduled operations, it extended “unqualified apology to the passengers who have faced or may be facing inconveniences due to the dislocated operations.”

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