Air India tries to stabilise operation, scraps 10 more flightsMay 15th, 2012 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi/Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) Air India Tuesday tried to stabilise its international operations by clubbing flights to destinations in Europe and the US as the pilots’ strike continued for the eighth day, leading to cancellation of 10 more flights.
“We are trying to operate a minimum number of international operations by clubbing flights to destinations in Europe and the US,” a senior Air India official with the operations arm told IANS.
“We have clubbed Delhi-Paris flights with those of Delhi-JFK (John F. Kennedy airport at New York). So, the flight has left Delhi and will land in Paris and then go onwards to New York and from there back to Delhi. We are monitoring the situation and informing the passengers in advance.”
The carrier’s low-cost international wing, Air India Express, cancelled four flights. The ongoing strike and subsequent flight cancellations by the airline have disrupted holiday and other travel plans of hundreds of people.
The airline has lost more than Rs.150 crore in the last eight days due to a grounded fleet, ticket cancellations and unused labour.
“The total losses in the week is around Rs.150 crore. We have faced ticket cancellation, unused labour and a bulk of our 777s fleet being grounded,” said the official.
The airline has stopped bookings on some of its ultra long-haul routes till May 15, effectively cancelling more than 15 flights per day to major sectors such as the US, Europe, and some other destinations like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
In a related development, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh came under opposition fire in parliament. Singh was served a privilege notice by opposition parties for “making policy statement outside when parliament is in session”.
The notice was given by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), and the Left parties.
Basudeb Acharia of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the minister had indicated on a TV channel that Air India would be privatised.
Trouble started for the airline May 8 when pilot-members of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) took mass sick leave protesting the move to provide Boeing-787 Dreamliner training to pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines.
The pilots had earlier said they were open to talks. But the government has not till now accepted the offer, saying there would be no negotiations till the pilots returned to work. The airline has also moved petitions in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.
The apex court will hear the petition along with special leave petition (SLP) filed earlier by the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), the union of erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots. Air India and Indian Airlines were officially merged into a single corporate entity on Feb 27, 2011.
- Minister tells pilots grievances will be heard (Lead) - May 15, 2012
- AI's contingency plan in place, only one flight cancelled - May 16, 2012
- Air India to shift to interim plan from June 1 (Second Lead) - Jun 01, 2012
- Air India crisis continues for 15th day, losses Rs.250 crore - May 22, 2012
- Air India losses mount to Rs.200 crore as crisis continues - May 18, 2012
- Air India to shift to interim plan from June 1 (Lead) - May 31, 2012
- Cracks among pilots, only one flight cancelled (Lead) - May 16, 2012
- Air India strike continues, losses mount to Rs.330 crore - May 31, 2012
- Day 22, Air India loss mounts to Rs.310 crore - May 29, 2012
- Ajit Singh calls Air India unions for talks (Lead) - May 17, 2012
- AI to prune operations if pilots' strike continues (Lead) - May 18, 2012
- Air India strike enters 17th day; loses Rs.270 crore (Lead) - May 24, 2012
- Air India crisis enters 13th day, losses at Rs.230 crore - May 20, 2012
- Air India feasibility study for new international schedule (Lead) - May 22, 2012
- Minister tells striking pilots to get back to work (Lead) - May 29, 2012
Tags: air india, air india express, ajit singh, bharatiya janata party, civil aviation, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, crore, eight days, eighth day, flight cancellations, international operations, john f kennedy, john f kennedy airport, left parties, opposition parties, related development, scraps, travel plans, tv channel