Pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines have withdrawn their threat to go on strike from Monday after their union, Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA), held talks with the management on Sunday.
“The management has agreed to our legitimate demands and there will be no strike now. Issues like examining the mismanagement of AI-IA, which has got the company to its present state and having some commonality for IA and AI pilots, have been agreed. We are paid according to the fourth pay commission even though we were long since eligible for the fifth pay commission. This demand will be examined,’’ ICPA chief Shailendra Singh said.
Airline sources gave the credit for resolving the stand-off with management to aviation secretary M M Nambiar.
“He told the airline brass that situation on passengers front is looking up with loads improving and as the economy recovers the focus should be not on ego tussles but on saving AI. Airline management has been asked to immediately implement the revival plan,’’ a senior pilot said.
Pilots of the erstwhile IA calling off the strike at this moment is good news for the public as Indian Airlines has the largest pool of CAT III trained pilots. The national carrier operates the maximum number of flights each winter and a strike would have meant substantial inconvenience for passengers.
Though private domestic airlines have now converted their fleet to CAT III, along with training pilots, IA still remains the largest compatible fleet for fog operations. A strike would have meant a huge disruption for flyers and a further increase in fares by other airlines.