Air India moves HC, Govt hints at downsizing
Air India has moved court to declare the pilots' strike illegal and direct the pilots to join back work.
New Delhi: There seems to be no end in sight to the deadlock between the Air India management and the pilots with the government, the management and the Indian Pilots Guild sticking to their stands. While the airlines management has moved the Delhi High Court against the striking pilots, the government has hinted at considering downsizing the airline.
Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said that the government may now consider downsizing the airline if the agitation by pilots continues.
"Government has given them 30,000 crore of public money but that is not without strings. They have to prove their worth. Let me point out the example of Kingfisher. They downsized and since then they arr doing fine. Air India only has 17 per cent market share. The pilots must look at this also," he said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Pilots Guild has also refused to compromise till their demands are met. Indian Pilots Guild President Jitendra Awhad has said that the pilots were ready to go back to work if 99 per cent of their demands were met. He also claimed that the government had closed its doors to talks on the issue.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, however, denied Awhad's allegations. Ajit Singh said that the government was open to talks.
But with no immediate end to the crisis in sight, passengers continue to bear the brunt. Three domestic and two international flights were cancelled on Wednesday morning.
Air India had on Tuesday derecognised the Indian Pilots Guild and also terminated the services of 10 striking pilots after over 100 pilots had called in sick and did not report to work.