Mumbai: Striking Air India pilots on the
fifth day of their agitation on Sunday took their thus-far closed
door protest to the streets by holding a candlelight march at
the Gateway of India here this evening.
About 140 pilots of the Indian Commercial Pilots
Association, now derecognised by the management, participated
in the candlelight march and demanded immediate ouster of the
Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav alleging that the
management`s unwillingness to invite them for talks is part of
his hidden agenda to shut down the airline and then privatise
On the fifth day of the strike on Sunday, the airline had to
cancel over 90 per cent of its domestic operations as 160 out
of 165 management pilots of the domestic carrier are also
indirectly partaking in the strike by reporting sick and
Meanwhile in the national Capital, opposition BJP
slammed the government for not taking measures to end the
strike and demanded to know whether this was part of its plan
to sell out the national carrier.
So far the airline management has been asking pilots to
return to work as a pre-condition for talks to resolve their
issues, while the pilots have been demanding a solid assurance
for a time-bound plan to resolve their grievances.
An airline spokesperson claimed that the strike had
not impacted international flights and it operated on all the
"Air India is successfully operating all its flights
on the long-haul routes to/from the US, Britain, Europe,
South-East Asia, China and the Gulf. All flight operations of
the subsidiaries--Air India Express and Alliance Air are also
on schedule, with no disruptions. About 50 international
flights, 75 Gulf flights and 42 regional flights operated as
scheduled today," she said.