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AI Cancels 13 Flights As Pilots' Agitation Enters Second Day

PTI 27 Sep 2009, 3:53:41 IST

As the agitation by Air India's executive pilots entered the second day, the airlines on Sunday cancelled around 13 morning flights, including six international ones, originating from in New delhi.

Seven domestic flights to Kolkata, Lucknow, Srinagar, Raipur, Nagpur, Chennai, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and six international ones to Dubai, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Singapore and Kabul remained cancelled as the pilots of these airlines reported sick. 

"As per the contingency plan, we have cancelled flights on those sectors which have low passenger load or on which there are alternative flights, either by us or by other airlines," an Air India official said. 

We informed the passengers about the cancellation of flights and also made adequate arrangement of funds, so that their is no shortage of funds in case they go for refund claims, the official added. 

"Keeping in view the agitation by the executive (senior) pilots, we reduced our seat availability from 37,000 to 22,000 per day," Air India spokesperson Jitendra Bhargava said. 

Only Air India (domestic) pilots are participating in the strike. So all the 'long all' flights are operating as per normal schedule, Bhargava said.  

Protesting against a cut of up to 50 per cent in their performance-linked incentives (PLI), which according to them would actually end up in 70 per cent cut in their salaries, and payment of their due salaries of last three months, senior pilots have boycotted their work by reporting sick since yesterday. 

The airlines yesterday cancelled 15 flights, including three international ones, after the agitating pilots refused to report to their duty. 

Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav will meet the agitating pilots in Mumbai to "address their concerns", the airlines said in a statement. 

However, the pilots were in denial mode saying any negotiation would take place only when the management withdraws the directive of a cut in their PLIs. PTI