More heads roll as AI pilots dig in their heels
Despite Delhi High Court declaring the strike illegal yesterday, the pilots said their agitation would continue. Eight international flights and at least six domestic flights, which would have continued as international flights, were cancelled today. Six flights of AI’s low-cost arm, Air India Express, were also cancelled.
Services from Delhi to Chicago, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Paris and Toronto, and from Mumbai to Jeddah, Riyadh and Newark were cancelled. Twelve international arrivals in Delhi were cancelled, according to the airport website.
AI claimed passengers were accommodated in hotels and put on other flights, but the relief did not appear to reach all passengers, who also complained of a lack of information.
The airline today stopped bookings for westbound flights until May 15. Passengers can postpone, advance or cancel their tickets for travel up to May 14 at no extra cost.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said long-haul operations would remain affected for some time. “If they (pilots) are not willing to follow the court order, why would they listen to me,” he said. Singh reaffirmed the government’s willingness to talk.
The pilots today sought the intervention of Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“It is a matter of life and death and career for