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AI cancels 150 flights; pilots strike continues
New Delhi, Apr 30 (IANS):
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Published on 1 May. 2011 1:18 AM IST
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Close to 150 flights were grounded Saturday as nearly half of Air India’s 1,600 pilots continued their strike for the fourth day despite facing a possible six-month jail for contempt of court and amid talks of a partial lockout. Air India has reportedly cancelled 150 flights and re-scheduled 35 flights out of its daily 225 domestic flight network. While 60 flights were cancelled in Mumbai, 14 were grounded in Kolkata and 12 in Kerala.
“We will operate just around 40 flights nationally, which includes 13 flights from Delhi, where on an average we have 52 flights,” a senior Air India official with the operational arm of the airline said. According to the official, 100 domestic flights of its subsidiary arm of Alliance Air were still active.
“Only the operations of Air India’s main domestic arm are effected. Our subsidiary Alliance Air is still active with 100 flights on the national network,” said the official. He further said the airline had since Thursday adopted a reduced operations plan, where fewer flights by wide-bodied aircraft would be operated. “Currently, our operations are going on smoothly. As we have stopped ticket bookings, passenger loads will also come down and we will be able to tide over this period,” the official said.
AI seeks Kingfisher’s help
Ruling out any talks with the striking pilots, Air India management has sought the help of its rival Kingfisher Airlines to salvage its domestic operations, a news channel reported Saturday afternoon.
However, sources in the management clarified to the channel that the move is only to quell the worries of the passengers who have booked their tickets. Air India will take kingfisher’s Boeing airbus on rent for Rs 1 crore a day, along with the latter pilots and cabin crew.

 
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