New Delhi: Air India has cancelled 76 domestic and international flights scheduled for Wednesday on its network in the wake of strike by 20,000 employees of the national carrier who are protesting against airline management’s gag order.
“We have cancelled a total of 76 flights scheduled to be operated on domestic as well as international sectors from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore on 26 May,” an airline official said.
The airline has decided to cancel these flights after reviewing the situation of the availability of the executive engineers, who are not part of the employees’ unions.
Stranded passengers stand outside the Air India counter at the domestic airport in New Delhi on Tuesday. Adnan Abidi / Reuters
No flight could be operated until it is certified by an aircraft engineer. Since the number of executive engineers are less so Air India decided to cancel these 76 flights, said the official.
The national carrier has cancelled 24 of its flights from Delhi, 37 from Mumbai, six from Kolkata, seven from Chennai and two from Bangalore.
The flights that are cancelled from Delhi on Wednesday include: IC 134 to Mumbai via Bhopal-Indore, IC 409 and IC 415 to Patna, IC 411 and IC 811 to Lucknow, IC 413 and IC 813 to Kathmandu, IC 445 to Ludhiana, IC 471 to Mumbai via Jodhpur -Udaipur.
AI 480 to Singapore, AI 638 to Amritsar, AI 747 and IC 895 to Dubai, IC 817 and IC 861 to Ahmedabad, IC 821 to Jammu-Srinagar, AI 841 to Abu Dhabi, IC 849 to Pune, AI 853 to Bangkok, IC 864 to Chandigarh, IC 869 to Raipur-Nagpur, IC 885 to Muscut, IC 889 to Guawahati-Imphal and IC 896 to Jaipur.
Yesterday, over 20,000 employees went on a flash strike to protest Air India’s gag order that hit flight operations. Over 50 domestic and international flights were cancelled while several others were delayed by over two hours.
Management has threatened stern action including termination of service if the agitation continued.
AI management, striking employees to hold talks
Striking a conciliatory tone, agitating Air India unions today decided to hold talks with the management over the gag order issue.
“We have been invited by the management for talks and we are going to attend it. We will also meet the Chief Labour Commissioner and place our demands,” Air Corporation Employees Union (ACEU) General Secretary J B Kadian told PTI here.
Over 20,000 employees, including engineers, went on a nationwide flash strike yesterday to protest Air India’s gag order -- a circular prohibiting union leaders from going public with their demands.
With the striking employees unrelenting on their demand for withdrawal of the gag order and the show cause notices to union leaders, the AI management toughened its stand late last night threatening to even terminate service of the employees if they did not call off the stir.
Air India has announced full refund to those whose flights were cancelled and made arrangements for hotel accommodation and local transport to those in transit.