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Updated: May 21, 2012 00:27 IST

Ajit Singh to meet leaders of 13 AI unions on Monday

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Stranded passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport's terminal T3 in New Delhi. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
Stranded passengers at Indira Gandhi International Airport's terminal T3 in New Delhi. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

As the stir by over 200 Air India pilots entered the thirteenth day on Sunday, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said the unions have to look at the health of their organisation and understand that this is an era of competition.

Mr. Singh, who is meeting leaders of 13 recognised Air India unions tomorrow, said, “It is more for familiarisation to get to know them. Unions have a very important role to play not only about their demands but they should also look at the whole picture and health of their organisation.”

The minister’s appeal to striking pilots of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) to return to work has gone unheeded. The protestors want sack orders against 71 pilots to be withdrawn and issues relating to career progression addressed immediately.

The IPG, which has been derecognised by AI, has not been invited for Monday’s meeting. It will be attended by representatives of the Indian Commercial Pilots association, cabin crew, ground handlers and other employees.

“Government has given money to Air India and fixed a lot of check points and performance standards. They will have to understand what life is about in an era of competition,” Mr. Singh told PTI on Sunday on being asked whether any solution is being worked out to end the deadlock.

The national carrier operated a curtailed international schedule, flying seven West-bound flights instead of normal schedule of 16 daily flights, AI sources said.

Singh had yesterday appealed to the agitating pilots to return to work, saying their demands would be considered.

He had also said that the ongoing strike has been declared illegal by the Delhi High Court and keeping in mind the inconvenience caused to thousands of passengers, they should resume duty. He had also assured them that the government will not be vindictive.

The airline has so far lost about Rs. 200 crore due to the agitation by over 200 pilots reporting ‘sick’

IAF medical facilities in various parts of the country, including Bangalore, Delhi and Jorhat, have been beefed up to conduct their full check-up by medical boards after they complete 14 consecutive days of remaining ‘sick’ on Monday.

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Receive the Boeing 787 and keep in the museum in main cities. At least it will bring in some revenue from visitors. No need to engage pilots or crew members. What a shame? NRIs are suffering due to impotent management and corrupt pilot unions?

from:  Jawahar
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 12:36 IST

Please Mr Minister for Civil Aviation, receive the Boeing-787 Dreamliner in New Delhi's IGIA airport instead of wasting more of Air India's money flying out First Class with a retinue of media persons and the hospitality that it will cost us.
Jai Hind

from:  Bharatvasi
Posted on: May 21, 2012 at 09:37 IST

The spineless Airlines management is still appealing the Pilots to
resume work. Govt. should deal the situation with an iron hand. What is
the need to revive the Unit when it is incurring heavy loss to the
country. The tax payers' money should not be used to help the
unsrupeless elements in this country. Let them close the Airlines once
and for all and save the tax payers' money at least now.

from:  trsubramanian
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 22:59 IST

The pilots can be asked to go on leave for the next 3 months while the
Government thinks over.

from:  Raja
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 22:30 IST

The govt should make prudent decisions and work out the best way to phase out the airline and ensure all existing staff are provided employment in the new era maybe by approving FDI in aviation sector. As tax payers we are just sick and tired of govt apathy, ignorance and indecisiveness.

As passengers we dont care about the issues between the govt and the pilots. We only care if the planes take off. If they dont and they cant, then the AIRLINE SHOULD BE PHASED OUT. FULL-STOP.

from:  Vasan
Posted on: May 20, 2012 at 22:16 IST
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