Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh

New Delhi, Jun 2: The Air India pilots’ stir entered the 26th day today as the national carrier’s revenue losses mounted to more than Rs 350 crore.

An Air India official said,”The loss is owing to ticket cancellation, unused labour and bulk of Boeing 777 fleet being grounded. We expect to stabilise our operations and cut the losses to less than Rs five crore a day from today.” The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), representing aviators of the erstwhile AirIndia, went on an agitation from May 8 against the move to train their counterparts from Indian Airlines on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

AI yesterday shifted to an interim plan to salvage its international operations that have been hit by the stir.

The official added, “Under the new plan, several destinations where the load factors are quite low have been dropped for now.” Among the seven axed international destinations areHong Kong,Osaka,SeoulandToronto.

Fuel consumption of the affected sectors has fallen from Rs 16 crore per day to Rs six crore as bulk of the Boeing 777s remain grounded.

The official further said bookings for international destinations have also been tweaked.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has again asked the agitating pilots to resume work so that negotiations could held.

The pilots, on the other hand, reiterated their demand of reinstatement of 101 sacked aviators and said none of their major issues were resolved by the announcement.

Singh during a news conference yesterday saidApril 1, 2007, had been set as the cut-off date for new pay scales and promised that senior employees would not be paid lesser than junior employees. Pay scales of executive cadre employees would be based on guidelines of the Department of Public Enterprises (which determines pay scales of all PSUs), whereas for non-executive staff, pay scales would be as per industry norms.

He said a four-member committee had been formed to give detailed guidelines on mapping seniority and bringing total pay parity between the two sets of employees. This committee would submit its report in 45 days and the new salary structure should become applicable from August.

While the Dharmadhikari report recommends abolishing performance-linked incentives across all sections of employees, pilots and engineers will get some allowances according to industry standards, after the Union Cabinet’s approval. (UNI)



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