Mumbai: Nearly 50 percent of Air India operations remained grounded Sunday, as the crippled airline could not find enough passengers to restore full operations even two days after the pilots` strike ended.
An Air India spokeswoman said here that up to 1800 hours, the airline operated around 60 percent of its flights from the city, while overall it is only about 50. Air India operates over 50 flights from Mumbai and over 350 across the country. Yesterday, the airline said it expected normal operations by Tuesday.
"If we don`t have bookings, it is not wise to fly an empty aircraft. It might take another 36 hours to return to the pre-strike levels," an airline official said Saturday.
Saturday Air India resumed fresh bookings after a virtual shutdown due to the ten-day pilot strike, which was called off Friday night. On the third day of the strike, Air India had suspended fresh bookings and was operating about 10 percent of its flights across its domestic network.
Officials said getting the planes, grounded for ten days, ready to fly and rostering of pilots and cabin crew has commenced.
The 10-day strike resulted in a loss of about Rs 160 crore as over 800 unionised pilots, belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines, and nearly all of the 165 executive pilots struck work.
The strike was called off after the government agreed to revoke all termination and suspension orders, withdraw the derecognition of ICPA and assured the pilots that their demands for pay parity would be considered by the Justice Dharmadhikari committee on a priority basis. The three-member panel, set up to go into all merger-related HR issues, has started work and already met a cross-section of workers.
The pilots were also assured of a probe into their allegations of corruption soon, besides immediate steps to enhance daily utilisation of aircraft and working hours of the cockpit crew by the management.