September 29: Pilots from Air India have now been on strike for four days in a row over flying allowances. The airline is attempting to save up to $270 million in the remaining six months of the current fiscal year through the renegotiation of handling contracts at various airports and elimination of “wasteful expenditure in various areas and enhanced productivity”.
In a move similar to that of the recent Jet Airways dispute, many of the pilots have reported sick, disrupting many domestic and international flights. Air India says that so far 87 ‘Executive’ pilots have reported sick and a meeting held in Delhi on Sunday with the pilots’ union NACIL “ended in stalemate” and that it would “deal sternly with the Executive Pilots who had reported sick.”
October 1: Air India pilots called off their strike after Indian Aviation minister Praful Patel gave assurances that flying allowances owed would be paid.
Air India had announced cuts to allowances ranging from 25% to 50%. It says it will now reconsider this and proposed to set up a committee comprising representatives of pilots to look into the issue.