29 April 2003
NEW DELHI - Air India has cancelled all flights from
Delhi to Singapore and Hong Kong. Many flights from Mumbai
and Chennai seem to be in the process of getting reduced as
pilot agitation gets into full swing.
What started as a row over flying to SARS affected
countries by Air India's pilots' union, Indian Pilots Guild
(IPG) on April 22, has turned into a full fledged
agitation, coming close to crippling Air India's services.
The pilots are said to have demanded a certificate from the
AI management to ensure accompanying crew had not flown
into SARS-affected Singapore and Hong Kong for the
preceding 10 days. AI rejected the demand.
AI spokesperson Jitender Bhargava told
TravelWeekly: "Our flights to Hong Kong were
suspended due to poor load factors.
"Twenty seven pilots have been suspended. We have
rejected the demands of the pilots' guild. All other
international flights are operating smoothly to south-east
Meanwhile, rival national carrier, Indian Airlines (IA)
has been asked to help out AI's traffic in the Gulf.
IA's 21 frequencies to Singapore are running on schedule
and an official spokesperson told TravelWeekly:
"Its business as usual for us. We have no plans of reducing
our flights." The Indian Commercial Pilots Association
(ICPA), the association of IA pilots, said they support the
AI strike as a measure of solidarity but had decided not to
resort to any strike.