Delhi airport not badly hit by AAI employees’ strike

March 12th, 2008 - 11:33 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) A few flights from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here were delayed early Wednesday but operations were not badly hit by the strike called by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees’ union. About 1,700 AAI employees here struck work at midnight to press their demand for continuing operations at the existing airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore. They went on strike though the Eseential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) had been invoked here.

Airport officials said some flights were delayed but air traffic was not severely hit by the strike.

However, if the strike continued for a longer period then it would affect baggage handling, sanitation and other ground activities at the airport, they added.

M.K. Ghoshal, AAI employees’ union general secretary, said the strike has been called at all the 127 AAI-run airports across the country.

The AAI employees’ union had given a call for the strike Feb 26. Their main demand is that the existing airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad should not be shut down after the new greenfield airports start functioning there in the next few weeks.

They went on strike at midnight after talks with the civil aviation ministry failed Tuesday.

Airport officials said about 500 Indian Air Force personnel have been deployed at 21 civilian airports. They are trained in airfield safety operations, fire fighting and aircraft marshalling.

The government has urged passengers to check the status of their flights with the airlines before leaving for the airport.

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