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Jet Airways resumes flights after crippling 5-day strike

Over 150 Jet Airways flights on Sunday remained cancelled even as the airlines made all efforts to restore normalcy after its pilots called off their five-day long stir and decided to get back to work following an agreement between them and the airlines management.

About 139 domestic and 13 international flights, including 27 from the national capital, were cancelled this morning, as per the list of cancelled flights posted on the airlines’ website.

The airlines said that normalcy is likely to return from this afternoon after the pilots resume their duties.

Over 400 pilots, who reported “sick” for the last five days, decided to resume their duties after a nine-hour-long meeting with the airlines management in Mumbai last night.

During the marathon meeting, which ended at around 2.30 am, the airline management and the agitators reached a settlement under which the four sacked pilots will be reinstated and a consultative group made up of the two sides formed to resolve all issues.

The airlines has started booking of seats for today’s flights since this morning, as the passengers trickling in following an end to the pilots’ stir.

Jet’s ticketing counter at the IGI airport here, which wore a deserted look in the last five days, saw some anxious passengers enquiring about the status of flights.

The airlines also tried to bring in some normalcy by combining Mumbai-Dubai and Dubai-Mumbai flights on international sectors.

It also merged some flights on Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Vadodara-Ahmedabad, Bangalore-Mumbai and Mumbai- Hyderabad sectors. During the agitation period, Jet had made the provision of accommodating its passengers in its low-cost arm JetLite flights on many sectors.

In Mumbai, Jet Airways resumed operations on a modest scale with 37 flights on Sunday after a crippling five-day strike by pilots ended overnight.

A trickle of passengers started arriving at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport early Sunday to catch flights that were announced by the private carrier, an official said.

Two of the flights – Mumbai-Dubai and return – were operated on an international route.

On the domestic route, flights would operate on the Mumbai-Delhi, Vadodara-Mumbai, Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Bangalore, Mumbai-Mangalore (including return), Mumbai-Hyderabad (return), Mumbai-Chennai, Ahmedabad-Delhi, Delhi-Lucknow (return), Delhi-Vadodara (return), Madurai-Chennai, Chennai-Coimbatore and Chennai-Bangalore (return).

The operations are expected to completely normalise when the pilots are delegated duties Sunday evening, an official said. The airline is likely to announce resumption of more operations.

Early Sunday morning, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal said an amicable agreement had been reached. The pilots called off their strike just before midnight Saturday.

“The airline will operate its full schedule of services on all sectors with all crew reporting for their normal duties,” he said in a statement.

President of the National Aviators Guild (NAG) Girish Kaushik said the dispute had been solved and the pilots would return to work as usual.

“An amicable settlement has been reached, it was like a misunderstanding in the family,” he said.

The understanding includes reinstatement of four pilots whose services were terminated by the airline recently, informed Congress parliamentarian from Mumbai North Sanjay Nirupam.

However, the issue of the union would be decided by the Registrar of Trade Unions, said Nirupam, who played a critical role in breaking the five-day deadlock in which the airline has reportedly suffered losses in excess of Rs.1 billion.

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