600 Air India pilots go on strike

MUMBAI: About 600 Air India pilots, who had been with the erstwhile Indian Airlines, have struck work to demand pay parity and better working conditions, an official said on Wednesday. Six flights from Mumbai were cancelled, ruining the travel plans of scores of passengers.The strike was called Tuesday midnight. Till Wednesday morning, Air India had managed to operate 10 flights from Mumbai by roping in the services of executive pilots.However, six other flights have been cancelled due to non-availability of pilots, an official said.The striking pilots, owing allegiance to the Indian Commercial Pilots Association of the former Indian Airlines, which merged with Air India later, have struck work demanding parity in pay with the Air India pilots and other issues related to work conditions.A top official of the airline termed the pilots agitation as “unfortunate”.

Sometime ago, Air India had initiated steps with regard to the demands raised by the pilots about parity of pay and working conditions, the official said.Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi had appointed a four-member committee, headed by former Bombay High Court judge Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari, to look into all issues in a consolidated manner.”The committee report is expected in around three months. We feel that the pilots should have waited for the submissions in it before resorting to agitational methods,” the official told IANS.Meanwhile, scores of passengers bound for various destinations like Nagpur, Chennai, New Delhi and other places were compelled to cancel their travel plans.Families proceeding on vacation were seen making frantic enquiries for booking tickets with private airlines, which have already reported full bookings in view of the summer holidays. – Khaleejnews