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Air India sacks 10 pilots, derecognises Indian Pilots Guild

Nivedita Ganguly Mumbai/Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 08, 2012

The Air India (AI) management has derecognised the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) and has terminated the services of 10 pilots, including office bearers of IPG. The move comes after pilots intensified their strike with more than 200 pilots calling in sick on Tuesday.

Sources said the offices of IPG in Mumbai and Delhi were sealed.

The unprecedented industrial action has bankers worried about the implementation of the Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP) agreed on Air India.

Sources said that there is a question mark over the release of further equity by the Government as it is linked to certain milestones such as increase in passenger load factor, increase in aircraft utilisation and making more routes profitable. Bankers fear that the turnaround plan could also be in danger given low morale of employees following this action.

Disruptions in international operations of Air India have already seen the revenues come down to Rs 9 crore from Rs 15 crore a day earlier. Altogether, revenues were down 25-30 per cent. Air India carries about 8,000 international passengers every day and operates 50 international flights and 400 domestic flights daily.

Air India operations were thrown into disarray with several flights in domestic and international routes being cancelled on Tuesday. Official sources said that the Frankfurt, Paris flights were combined while the Chicago and Toronto flights were likely to operate on Tuesday. Flights to Singapore and Japan will be operated with smaller aircraft. These can be flown by pilots of the erstwhile Indian (Airlines) who are not taking part in the industrial action. Two flights in the Middle-East route were affected. As far as Air India Express is concerned, 44 pilots reported sick.

Mumbai airport officials said that five Air India flights from Mumbai were cancelled on Tuesday. Sources told Business Line that at least four domestic flights, which continue onwards as international flights, the Delhi-Hyderabad-Delhi, Delhi-Amritsar-Delhi, Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Ahmedabad-Delhi, were cancelled on Tuesday because of non-availability of pilots. Flights on Mumbai-Jeddah, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Delhi-JFK were also cancelled on Tuesday. A similar uncertainty hangs over the flight operations for Wednesday.

Sections of Air India pilots, who belong to the pre-merger Air India, are protesting the management's decision to train their colleagues from the erstwhile Indian (Airlines) to fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The first of these will be inducted into the fleet later this month.

> niveditag@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 08, 2012
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