AI loses Rs 100 cr due to pilots strike

A grounded fleet, ticket cancellations and unused labour have cost Air India Rs 100 crore in the seven days since the pilots went on strike, an official said.

The airline scrapped 14 international flights on the seventh day of the agitation yesterday while its low-cost international wing, Air India Express, cancelled four flights. The carrier’s domestic operations have been in disarray.

“The total losses in the week is around Rs 100 crore. We had to face ticket cancellation, unused labour and an entire grounded fleet of our 777s. We also had to cancel 14 flights for the day,” said a senior Air India official with the operations arm.

He added the contingency plan would be implemented “within two or three days” whereby a guaranteed minimum international operation will be on. “We are monitoring the situation and informing the passengers in advance.”

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.

Air India had grounded the bulk of its 17 Boeing 777 aircraft. Maintaining the grounded aircraft add further to its expenditure.

Meanwhile, the five independent directors of the company met at a meeting and supported the management’s decision to sack pilots and derecognise their union.

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