No talks with pilots; will abide by HC order: govt

No talks with pilots; will abide by HC order: govt

New Delhi: Refusing to talk to striking Air India pilots, the government on Monday said it will wait till the stir is called off and abide by the court’s order on the Contempt of Court proceedings initiated by the airline management.

“I have already stated that there will be no talks with the pilots till they are on strike," Civil Aviation minister Vayalar Ravi said.

The minister also said that government will wait and abide by the court’s order in the Contempt of Court proceeding initiated on the plea of the Air India management.

The Delhi High Court heard both the pilots and the management and adjourned the matter till Tuesday.

Demanding pay parity with their colleagues of erstwhile Air India, better working conditions, removal of Air India CMD and CBI inquiry into alleged withdrawal of flights profitable routes, pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines owing allegiance with the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) are on strike from midnight last Tuesday.

Air India’s domestic operations have come to a virtual halt with the strike by pilots entering the sixth day on Monday.

With no solution in sight, the Air India management has curtailed its operations schedule till next Friday and stopped domestic bookings from Friday last till Tuesday.

The strike disrupted 90% of the domestic operations, though flights by its subsidiaries Alliance Air and Air India Express on the regional and international sectors, including the Gulf, operated normally.

Acting promptly, the Air India management derecognised the ICPA and sacked nine pilots, including ICPA president Captain A S Bhinder and general secretary Captain Rishabh Kapur over last week.

The management has also suspended six pilots.