Pilots strike enters 8th day, AI operations crippled

Mumbai: Air India services remain crippled for the eighth day on Wednesday due to the pilots` strike with the ailing airline operating just ten per cent of its overall flights including 10 each from Mumbai and Delhi.

The operations of the national carrier remained disrupted as the striking pilots refused to budge from their positions.

About 40 flights were in operation today as the airline cancelled almost 90 per cent of its 320 daily services.

Air India is suffering a loss of Rs 26 crore per day on account of the stir.

So far, seven pilots have been sacked and six suspended.

The Delhi High Court yesterday slapped contempt notices on nine office bearers of de-recognised Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) for disobeying its order to call off the strike, while deciding to take up the matter on May 25.

The pilots, who struck work from midnight last Tuesday, have been demanding pay parity with their colleagues of erstwhile Air India, better working conditions and CBI inquiry into alleged withdrawal of flights from profitable routes, aircraft purchase and other issues.

Of the total 1,200 pilots, over 800 belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines have gone on strike. The remaining 400, mostly operating international flights, owe allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild.