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AI remains crippled; 3rd round of talks today

Last updated on: May 6, 2011 13:53 IST

AI remains crippled; 3rd round of talks today

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With two rounds of talks between Air India pilots on strike and the government failing to end the deadlock, both have agreed to meet again on Friday, even as the domestic operations of the national carrier Air India remained crippled for the 10th consecutive day.

With the strike still on, the airline has grounded up to 90 per cent of its operations and has been operating about 30 flights a day besides some charter flights from Kingfisher and Air Arabia.

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Image: Air India ticket counter.

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On Thursday, the airline operated 18 charter flights, 16 domestic and two international using aircraft borrowed from Kingfisher and Air Arabia, a company spokesperson, adding it may continue to do so on Friday as well.

The civil aviation ministry on Thursday held talks with the agitating pilots to find a way to break the ice following the strike, for the second time.

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Image: Air India mascot.

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The talks, however, were inconclusive.

The aviation ministry officials are also optimistic that the deadlock would end soon. After their parleys with joint secretary Prashant Shukul, the pilots also met aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi for the first time since the talks began on Wednesday.

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Image: AI pilots take part in a protest march in Mumbai.
Photographs: Reuters
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AI remains crippled; 3rd round of talks today

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The striking pilots are demanding that all sackings, suspensions and transfers effected during the strike period be revoked, Indian Commercial Pilots Association 's recognition be restored, the contempt of court petition filed by Air India management be withdrawn, a CBI probe into the alleged corruption and mismanagement be ordered and all other issues be tackled in a time-bound manner.

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Air India has sacked seven pilots and suspended six and the management has decided not to process the April salaries of the agitators 'till further instructions'.

The Delhi high court on Tuesday slapped contempt notices on nine office bearers of the de-recognised ICPA for disobeying its order to call off the strike.


Image: Air India pilots in a candlelight march in Mumbai.
Photographs: Reuters
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