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Home > Business > PTI > Report

Government suspends 12 A-I pilots

April 26, 2003 21:18 IST

The government on Saturday evening place under suspension 12 Air-India pilots after the Indian Pilots Guild refused to withdraw its directive on operating flights to SARS-affected countries.

"We have no other option but to adopt this measure as we cannot allow any employee to hold the airline and the public to ransom," the A-I's public relation chief, Jitendra Bhargava, said in Mumbai.

More than 50 pilots have been served with letters for their refusal to operate flights to Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuwait and they will face disciplinary action, Bhargava said.

He said the A-I has decided to put in operation the contingency plan, whereby A310 Airbus services might be curtailed, but Boeing 747-400, 747-300, 747-200 would be operated with about 160 executive pilots.

In New Delhi, Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain said the government would recruit on contract some retired pilots to deal with the situation. The duties of pilots have also been extended by an hour, he added.

Bhargava said, "It is a myth being propagated by the IPG and they are only covering up their deficiencies and demands.

"IPG, after a change of guard in January 2003, have been covering their financial demands by such actions."

Officials of the civil aviation ministry, led by aviation secretary K Roy Paul, who is also chairman of the A-I, had flown in from Delhi and met the IPG committee to resolve the issue.

The IPG is demanding a declaration from the management stating that the accompanying crewmembers have not travelled to SARS-affected countries in the last 10 days.

Asked if action has been contemplated against IPG president Captain Kenneth Khan, who had declined to operate the London-Mumbai flight on Friday, Bhargava said, "Action will be taken against all who refuse to operate flights, demanding a certificate.

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Number of User Comments: 17

Sub: This is good start

This is good start...This kind of action should take place in all other government departments too...Then only people have faith on Government services.

Posted by Zahir

Sub: Pilots

It is high time the pilots realise that they are not demi Gods and the the government too should refuse to treat them as such.

Posted by Promod Sharma


Its really shamefull,that the IPG under the guise of SARS has taken such foolish steps.Infact they want more allowances,more money.At present each one is taking ...

Posted by Capt.S.M.Mehra

Sub: AI pilots tantrum!

If Doctors who are certainly less paid and less congenial work atmos., stayed away in fear? Ten days is arbitrary. The flying maharajas could have ...

Posted by N.Dharmeshwaran

Sub: suspension of pilots

i congratulate the AI for their action. i have been stuck for nearly 2 weeks as the flight have been cancelled. i'm only a transit ...

Posted by gayatri



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