Govt may get tough with Air India pilots; strike loss put at Rs 26 cr

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on April 29, 2011


Confusion continues to prevail over handling of the Air India pilots' strike that entered its third day on Friday.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that efforts were on to get some pilots from Kingfisher Airlines to operate Air India flights. But this was denied by airline officials.

The strike continued to affect flight operations. The airline was able to operate only 39 flights on Friday against the usual 320 services a day.

Ministry of Civil Aviation officials will wait till Monday before taking any “drastic” measures. The Ministry is considering two options — invoking Essential Service Maintenance Act (ESMA) or resorting to lockout — to deal with the striking pilots.

However, invoking the ESMA is a tricky proposition as it could be challenged in court, say Ministry officials. The option of a lockout, on the other hand, would require political consensus.

On its part, the airline management “advised” all pilots connected “directly or indirectly” with the strike to report to duty by 5 p.m. on Friday. “Failing which, the management is at liberty to take any action deemed fit, including termination of services,” the management said.

The three-day agitation has resulted in a revenue loss of over Rs 26 crore, an airline statement said.

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Published on April 29, 2011
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