Pilots strike keeps Air India grounded: AI says no fresh bookings
The country's national carrier—Air India has stopped accepting fresh bookings on domestic flights till further notice, after its operations were affected by pilot's strike.
 
Arvind Jadhav, chairman and managing director, Air India said, “All morning flights of Air India will remain cancelled till we come to some arrangement."
 
"A total of 180 Air India pilots have reported sick," he said.
 
Air India has cancelled nine international and 37 domestic services after 87 pilots reported sick, the airline said in a statement.
 
Talks between the management and the striking executive pilots Monday failed to break the deadlock over the issue of cut in perks. The striking pilots are protesting against the cut in the productivity linked incentives (PIL). They are likely to intensify their agitation.
 
Meanwhile, M Madhavan Nambiar, civil aviation secretary said, “Air India management has not taken any decision on the cut of PLI or any allowance for the unionised section of employees. Decision regarding the executive employees will be taken only after the committee set up to look into this matter examines all aspects in consultation with employees."
 
"Though the Government support is coming, it must be linked to a problem turnaround plan including cost cutting and revenue enhancement," Nambiar said in a statement.
 
Private airlines have been asked not to increase fare and tariff in view of the agitation by Air India’s pilots, Nambiar added.
 
Air India on 24th September approved the PLI cut that would affect over 7,000 employees. The cut applicable to all officers, including top management personnel in various management disciplines will range from 25% for those getting PLI of Rs10,000 or less per month and 50% for those receiving PLI or flying related allowances of Rs200,000 or more per month. The cut for those receiving PLI of Rs10,001 to Rs25,000, Rs25,001 to Rs50,000 and Rs50,001 to Rs200,000 will be 35%, 40% and 45%, respectively, the release said.
 
Earlier in September, Jet Airways, India's second largest carrier was forced to cancel about 206 flights including 32 on international routes, due to pilot's strike.
-Yogesh Sapkale with Amritha Pillay [email protected]
 
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