As the stalemate between Air India and agitating pilots continued for the fifth day, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Saturday night issued notice to 11 office-bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) after the airline management sought cancellation of their flying licences.

The 11 pilots have been given a week's time to file their reply, sources in the DGCA said, a day after the state-owned airline wrote to the civil aviation regulator asking it to cancel the licences of the 11 office-bearers who are among the sacked pilots.

The DGCA action came on a day when at least 16 flights, mostly international, were cancelled even as the government asked the pilots to end their stir before talks could be held on the row over training and career progression.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh also reached out to the Opposition to find ways of ending the impasse.

A group of senior pilots, said to be in executive cadre, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AI CMD Rohit Nandan supporting the pilots' demands and demanding that “genuine” issues be looked into.

Ready for talks: IPG

Leaders of the IPG said they were willing to hold talks with the government without any pre-condition to resolve the matter. At a press conference in Mumbai, IPG president Jeetendra Awhad and senior leader Tauseef Muqaddam said “the ball is in the government's court.”

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