May 11, 2012, 12.04 PM | Source: PTI

AI moves SC against striking pilots, stops bookings for US,

AI moves SC against striking pilots, stops bookings for US,

Europe till May 15 New Delhi/Mumbai, May 10 (PTI) Crisis-hit Air India today moved the Supreme Court against striking pilots as it stopped flight bookings for the US, Canada and Europe till May 15 and sacked nine more pilots on day three of their agitation. Over 20 international and domestic flights were cancelled and several delayed, leaving hundreds of passengers fuming. Air India moved a petition in the apex seeking initiation of criminal contempt proceedings against the office bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) for allegedly obstructing implementation of its order on training of pilots for the Dreamliner aircraft. An application in this regard alleged that the ongoing protest action by IPG, which has disrupted international flight operations of airline, amounts to contempt of the apex court orders. With over 200 pilots owing allegiance to the IPG refusing to join duty, AI said it was suspending its international bookings to New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Toronto, London, Paris and Frankfurt till May 15. The airline sacked nine more pilots taking the number of pilots whose services have been terminated to 45. While 10 pilots, mostly office bearers of the IPG were dismissed on Tuesday, another 26 were shown the door yesterday. AI management has also derecognised IPG. A defiant IPG demanded that the AI management must withdraw the sack orders and till then there was no question of pilots resuming work. The agitating pilots sought the intervention of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to resolve the impasse. "It is a matter of life and death and career for the pilots. Talks were held by IPG with AI management which did not honour its commitments. The management is having a non-serious attitude towards our grievances,'" Jitendra Awhad, IPG president, told reporters. From Delhi flights to Frankfurt, Shanghai, Toronto, New Jersey, Chicago and Seoul were cancelled while AI flights to New York, Riyadh and Shanghai were not operating from Mumbai. Air India daily operates about 50 international flights and 400 domestic flights.(MORE)


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