Even as the stalemate continues in Air India, the national carrier has already lost about Rs. 500 crore in terms of revenue during the 45-day-old strike by pilots.
The continuing strike has forced the airline to once again extend the international contingency plan, for the fourth time since the protest began on May 7, indicating that things may not change for quite some time. As part of the plan, the interim schedule will be extended for international flights till July 31 or until the strike is called off before that day, according to an AI official.
The airline will operate 38 international flights per day instead of the 45 it operates under normal conditions.
First, the interim schedule was to be operational till May 25 but was extended till June 1 and then again till June 30.
While most of the services affected are those to Europe and North America, where a curtailed operation is being maintained, the only destinations not covered under this schedule are Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto. All flights to the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Singapore, Thailand and SAARC countries are being operated as per the normal schedule.
Air India is planning to begin its Jeddah and Tokyo flights from next month. Presently, some of its aircraft are on duty with the Prime Minister, who is on a visit to Mexico and Brazil. As soon as they are back, the Jeddah and Tokyo flights will be launched.