Big ego causing fat losses for Air India?

May 23, 2012, 06:01 IST | Bipin Kumar Singh

While the airline is ready to take back all terminated pilots � except for those who allegedly instigated others to go on strike � pilots' group is adamant that it won't start work until everyone is reinstated

It doesn’t seem the Air India pilot’s strike, which entered in its 15th day yesterday, will end anytime soon. The travellers may have to go through the ordeal for some more time and that too because of the supposed clash of big fat egos of the airline management and the members of the agitating pilots’ group.

Maha loss: Air India is now planning a feasibility study to determine international destinations the airline will fly to as it faces a shortage of pilots and to close down loss-making flights. The loss due to ticket cancellations, unused labour and with the bulk of our Boeing-777 fleet grounded now stands at over Rs 250 crore. File pic

While the airline management is ready to take back all terminated pilots, except for the 12 members of the pilots’ group who allegedly instigated others to go on strike, the pilots are adamant that they won’t report to work until everyone is reinstated.

“The airline management and ministry officials feel that the office bearers of Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) decided to go on strike despite assurances given to them,” said an office bearer of one of the employees’ union recognised by the AI.

“Now the situation has turned ugly. On one hand, the minister for civil aviation is asking pilots to resume work and is assuring them that their demands will be met, while on the other hand, pilots’ union wants a written assurance that all their members will be taken back, their union be de-recognised and their demands will be met,” he said, adding that the reaction from pilots’ group to the minister’s request is perceived as an insult to the ministry. With no parties likely to budge, stalemate can get extended to a few more, said the official.

Meanwhile, speaking to MiD DAY, Captain Tauseef Mukadam, spokesperson (IPG), said, “I would only like to say that it was a mutual decision of the 440 IPG members to go on strike. Hence, we will not report to work until everyone is reinstated.

We are ready to talk to the government and the airline management, however they don’t seem to be too keen.” Due to the ongoing standoff, the airline has suffered a loss of over Rs 250 crore. 

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