Stir enters 8th day ten AI flights cancelled

By: admin
Updated: 15 May 2012 01:18 AM

New Delhi: As the stir by over 200 Air India pilots entered
the eighth day today leading to cancellation of 10 international flights,
government said the DGCA will take action against those who have falsely
reported sick and not joined work.

Air India cancelled around 10 international flights from Delhi and Mumbai
on Tuesday morning.

"We have, as part of our contingency plan, operated Delhi-Toronto,
Delhi-New York routes, and hope to operate more flights tonight," an Air
India spokesperson said.

With a medical summary issued by the Aviation Ministry stating that most
of the AI pilots, who called in sick, were neither found at home by
doctors sent by the airline nor reported to doctors empanelled by the
carrier, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said the Directorate General
of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will take action against them.

"I and you don't need any medical teams to ascertain they are sick. If
they have reported sick but were found fit or not found at their houses as
reported in the aviation ministry's medical summary, then the DGCA will
take necessary action against them," Singh told reporters.

The pilots have been calling in sick and not reporting for duty in protest
against rescheduling of training programme of Dreamliner and issues
related to their career progression.

According to the medical summary, about 48 out of the 53 Delhi-based
pilots who reported sick were not found at home. Their residences were
found locked and their mobiles unreachable.

Nine out of 18 outstation pilots, who were staying at Hotel Hyatt,
complained of bad stomach and backache but doctors found them medically

Of the 53 homes visited by doctors, 12 were found locked. When doors were
opened, the medical teams were given unclear information.

The minister said the pilots have the right to go on strike, as employees
may have some grievances. "They should have discussed with us, why have
they chosen to go on a strike during the peak vacation season."

Meanwhile, seven Air India unions in a letter to Singh have sought an end
to the standoff between pilots and management.

Seeking Singh's intervention, the AI unions of engineers, cabin crew,
commercial staff, ground staff have blamed the merger for the ongoing