Passengers continue to suffer as AI pilots' strike enters fifth day
New Delhi, May 12 (ANI): With the strike called by the Air India pilots' entering its fifth day today, passengers are the worst-hit with at least 22 flights already being cancelled.
The ongoing agitation by pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) is severely affecting the passengers, who allege that they were not being informed about the cancellation of their flights in advance.
Thousands of passengers continue to suffer, as there seems to be no breakthrough yet and the standoff between the government and the Air India pilots' continues.
"I am from Siwan, Bihar. I was to board the flight for Jeddah. My flight has been cancelled today. Nobody is listening to us on any of the counters. My visa is going to expire day after tomorrow. Nobody is ready to listen. It is creating a lot of problem. No arrangement has been made," said Brahma Yadav, a passenger.
Another passenger, who was to travel to Riyadh in an Air India flight, looked very disturbed, saying the flight has been cancelled and that the concerned authorities have made no arrangements.
"I was to go to Riyadh. My flight has been cancelled. Nobody is listening to us. There is no response and answer from them. No arrangements have been made for our stay. I came to know about the flight being cancelled at the airport. I was not informed about it in advance. They have all our contacts, but they did not respond," he said.
The Air India management had earlier on Friday sacked 25 more pilots. It also asked the Director General of Civil Aviation to cancel licences of 11 dismissed office bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) after over 200 striking pilots refused to return to work.
The total number of pilots, who have been dismissed since their agitation that began on Tuesday has gone up to 71.
The government has offered to talk to the pilots, but said they must return to work first.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had earlier on Friday met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and apprised him about the latest developments on the Air India pilots' strike.
Asserting that Air India needed to stand on its own feet, Ajit Singh earlier said: "We have to see how to make Air India stand on its feet and for that the employees have to work hard. If they only see their personal interest, Air India will sink and all of them will sink with it."
Stressing on the issue of safety, he said: "Safety cannot be compromised with. We do not have any tolerance in this case."
Singh had earlier said that this move of the pilots was hurting the credibility of the national carrier. (ANI)
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