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Air India closes domestic booking for next days

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Owing to the continued strike of Air India Pilots and no clarity on the solution yet, the biggest carrier of India has suspended its domestic ticketing for the next days till May 4 2011. The situation is turning gross as the 800 pilots who went on strike are not moving an inch on their demands and the government is stubborn on their talk that they are adequately paid.

Nearly 70–80 per cent of Air India's 80 daily flights from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International (BOM) were cancelled. Similarly flights from Delhi, Kochi and Chennai have been cancelled in last 4 days. Revenue losses have begun piling up for the national carrier as all the flight on Delhi route also are cancelled.

Briefing newspersons, the airline spokesman said the strike was resulting in a revenue loss of about Rs 4 crore a day. The pilots have been on strike since midnight Tuesday demanding pay parity. With already loss burden mounting on the largest airliner of India, the government and management are yet to take a decision on what seems to be a grave situation and may lead to shutdown of the airline temporarily if not permanently.

However, invoking the ESMA (Essential Service Maintenance Act) is a tricky proposition as it could be challenged in court, say Ministry officials. The option of a lockout on the other hand would require political consensus.

Source: The Hindu Bussiness Line

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