Air India on Wednesday cancelled over 30 flights across the country as the agitating executive pilots refused to return to work despite a warning by the government that the management was free to take any action against them.
The airline cancelled 19 domestic and two international flights to Kabul and Kathmandu from Delhi besides some flights from Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
On Tuesday, Air India cancelled 94 flights across the nation, including long-haul flights to New York, Chicago, Frankfurt and London from Delhi and Mumbai.
“We generally operate around 32 flights till 2 pm but due to the ongoing stir we have decided to operate just 13 flights today. This has been decided after assessing the availability of pilots and passenger load on the particular sector,” an airline official said.
The pilots’ agitation, which entered the fifth day today, has forced the airline to cancel over 240 flights in the last four day.
About 200 Air India pilots have reported “sick” since Saturday in protest against a 50 per cent cut in their productivity-linked incentives (PLI) and payment of their due flying allowance of three months.
The Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Tuesday appealed to the striking pilots to return to work failing which the Air India management was “free to take any action” against them.
Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav said that the PLI and allowance of July has been paid and it will reflect in the account of pilots by October 6 or 7.
However, Capt V K Bhalla, who is spearheading the stir, had made it clear that they would not resume work on Wednesday.