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Updated: May 10, 2012 02:48 IST

AI sacks 10 more pilots, Ajit Singh offers talks

Vinay Kumar
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Stranded passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport's terminal T3 waiting for the resumption of services, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
Stranded passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport's terminal T3 waiting for the resumption of services, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Even as the Air India management dismissed 10 more pilots on Wednesday, the Delhi High Court barred the airline's pilots from reporting sick or staging demonstrations and the government expressed its willingness to talk to the agitating pilots after they report for duty.

Ten pilots were sacked on Tuesday, the first day of the stir by those owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild.

Four international flights, two each from Delhi and Mumbai, were cancelled on Wednesday, an Air India spokesperson said.

“If you have grievances, we can talk, but discussions and disruptions cannot take place simultaneously. They should withdraw their strike and apologise to the passengers,” Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said while talking to journalists here. He said the government had a “back-up plan” to deal with the strike.

Expressing concern over the fragile financial health of the cash-strapped national carrier, Mr. Singh said: “Air India is almost bankrupt. It is not able to pay salaries for months; it has not paid to the Airport Authority of India and oil marketing companies. The government is trying to revive it by infusing Rs.30,000 crore of public money over a period of time, but there are strings attached to it.''

The agitation figured in Parliament, with members demanding an early resolution of the crisis and a long-term settlement.

In the Lok Sabha, Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) demanded that the government take concrete steps to revive the airline and stop patronising private players.

In the Rajya Sabha, Ram Chandra Khuntia (Congress) said that even after a huge financial package was given to the airline, salaries of pilots and other staff were not paid and passengers were facing serious problems.

The pilots are sore over the rescheduling of soon-to-be inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner training and matters relating to their career growth.

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Seriously, Air India employees need to improve their service rather than going for strikes. Those who have traveled in Air India how the staff treats them specially the senior citizens. As long as they feel that their job is secure they will never improve.

from:  anurag
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 09:39 IST

AI is unable to stand on its own feet. It has a begging bowl on one hand
but wants to go in for the latest commercial aircraft "The Dream Liner"!
Why are our representatives in the parliament unable to work on the
government to use common sense and basic principles of business to rid
the mammoth public sector burden of its ills? Is it so difficult to turn
the situation around?

from:  anil nair
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 08:19 IST

Its only a matter of time before the railways follow!!

from:  ravi
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 05:32 IST

What a sad predicament for Air India - shows absolutely poor management - Govt has to spend 30000 Crores of public money for revival - shame it is run on such bad style; misuse by Ministers and President (too many useless trips made with far too many members without any payment eh?) naturally causes deficits on large scale; oil Cos in public sector, why they continue fuel supplies ? follow same rule you apply to private sector airlines - insist on payment at regular intervals agreed; NO way our Govt can run the airline on sound basis; better close it is good option; let private folks fight for share in trade and improve facilities to passenger benefit; GOI has been sleeping too long because of vested interests; Pity indeed.

from:  Radhik Hairam
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 05:09 IST

For the employees to derail an already losing business is morally repugnant. What happened to all those good qualities such as loyalty, compassion,gratitude etc.? I hope these employees who are striking at a critical moment with utter disregard to the financially strapped carrier do not get their bones fractured because those fractured bones will never heal, for their marrows are filled not with red blood cells but with deep ingratitude and opportunism.

from:  T.S.Krishnaswamy
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 01:27 IST

Air India / Indian Airlines is a dead player, a white elephant that
should long have been buried 100 feet under ground. However much you try
to revive this airlines, the Government Sector attitude is never going
to go away. Instead, give those bailouts to the deserving airlines like
Kingfisher who are actually providing world-class services to their
customers and are actively attracting business and leisure tourism to

from:  Arun Sharma
Posted on: May 9, 2012 at 23:58 IST

The employees have adopted a suicidal approach , especially when the carrier is facing a financial crisis. The government has
Come to the rescue of the carrier, and the entire nation wants AIR INDIA to emerge as the best carrier in the world. If the
Employees are not in a position to adopt a positive approach, there is no scope for survival of the carrier at the global level in
The present highly competitive environment. An identical situation arose in USA. The three auto giants in USA faced all
financial problems and this posed problems to all the employees. The Obama admn went all out to the rescue of the industry
and the employees. Now the industryband the employees have won. The powerful unions have recently signed long term wage
Pacts to build up the giant plans, foregoing the normal rights of employees to foster the growth of the industry and
EMPLOYMENT GROWTH. The unions should adopt a realistic approach in the nations interests.

from:  C.p.Chandra das
Posted on: May 9, 2012 at 21:48 IST
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