The Shipping Corporation of India and the Railways have decided to extend their services to Air India passengers stranded because of the ongoing executive pilots strike even as nine flights of the airline were cancelled here on Tuesday.

This was done on the initiative of Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.

“I have asked officials of the Shipping Corporation to take all measures to help the passengers stranded at Port Blair because of the strike,” Union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy told The Hindu.

Two ships would set sail from Port Blair towards Kolkata and Chennai on October 1. The administration of the Shipping Corporation of India in Andaman and Nicobar had informed the passengers at the airport that they could board these ships, Mr. Roy said, adding another vessel was ready if the need arises.

According to a release from the Eastern Railway, “the Railway Ministry has made special arrangements for stranded passengers of Air India.” Computerised railway reservation counters and help desks were set up at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata.

The nation-wide strike by the executive pilots seriously affected services at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here on Monday, when nine flights were cancelled, said an Air India spokesman.

The situation remained unchanged on Tuesday as the airline operated 14 flights with the help of line pilots, but had to cancel nine flights, including those bound for international destinations.

“We have given passengers prompt refunds or tried to accommodate the passengers on other airlines. Hotel accommodations have also been provided,” the spokesman said.

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