AI Pilots Call off Strike following Centre’s Intervention

Following intervention by the central government, Air India pilots have called off their four-day long strike over cut in their performance-linked incentives (PLI) and arrears.

Captain VK Bhalla told media persons in New Delhi that the pilots association decided to call off the agitation in the wake of Centre’s intervention.

“I am very grateful to the Prime Minister who asked Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to intervene in our crisis. I have full faith on the assurances given by our Aviation Minister. If the Minister says that it (PLI) will be paid then we trust him. Civil Aviation Minister is the government and we trust the government. Therefore, we are going to call off our strike with immediate effect,” said Bhalla.

He also informed that a turn-around committee would be formed to look into the demands of the pilots.

“The strike was for a serious issue. Now that the issue has been resolved, there is no pointing continuing the strike,” he said.

However, the government air carrier has already cancelled its 34 flights scheduled for Wednesday. Out of 34, 30 are domestic and four and international.

It may be mentioned that Patel had issued a stern warning on Tuesday to the striking pilots that they must join work or face action.

Before issuing the warning Patel had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Prime Minister had also met Air India CMD Jadhav and Civil Aviation Secretary MM Nambiar and asked them to find a solution soon.

Many executive pilots had been reporting sick and stayed away from duty since Friday night after Air India management decided to implement a cut in their PLI as a cost-cutting exercise.

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