Pilot agitation enters second day, 3 flights cancelled

New Delhi: Three international flights of Air India were cancelled from here and Mumbai as the agitation by a section of pilots entered the second day today.

"Two flights from Delhi to Singapore (AI-380) and to New York (AI-101), while one from Mumbai to Newark (AI-191) are cancelled today. All other international flights are operating as we have made a contingency plan with the available pilots," an Air India spokesperson said.

Around 200 Air India pilots owing allegiance to Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) had reported sick yesterday resulting in cancellation of at least 13 international flights. The pilots have been protesting against rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training.

Worst affected were the passengers, who alleged that they were not being informed about the cancellation of their flights in advance. They also alleged the airline staff were not cooperating nor they were providing any information about their flight or any alternate flights.

Some of the passengers, who checked-in their luggage and also got their boarding passes had to wait for hours to get back their luggage. Cracking the whip, Air India management had on Tuesday sacked 10 agitating pilots and derecognised their union.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh termed the strike as illegal and said the government can also shut the airline. He told the striking pilots that they should first decide what they want – either keep the national carrier afloat or shut it down. "We cannot keep pouring money to keep Air India afloat," Singh said.