September 9: Pilots at Indian airline Jet Airways have gone on sick leave in a dispute over the dismissal of two of its members last month. Over 300 pilots are involved, leaving flights cancelled and passengers stranded at airports across the world.
Under Indian law any strike action by the pilots would be illegal while conciliation talks are held with the airline, which commenced today. The airline has called the pilots’ action “a planned sabotage of operations that will damage the airline’s operations and inconvenience the travelling public.”
Pilots had originally threatened to officially strike, but since talks began with the airline 163 captains and 198 first officers have reported sick, 40% of the total airline pilot strength of 760. As a result 186 flights domestic and international services were immediately cancelled affecting some 13,000 passengers. Jet Airways is offering alternative flights and refunds to those affected.