Air India (AI) has suspended its domestic ticket booking system until October 15 and cancelled several flights after nearly 250 executive pilots reported sick for several days running.
The pilots’ action is effectively a strike against AI’s management plans to cut senior pilots’ pay by up to 50 percent and has left AI’s operations in chaos, with thousands of passengers left stranded across its network. Talks between unions and AI management have foundered.
With a daily capacity of 35,000 seats, Air India’s share of the country’s domestic market has been estimated at around 17 percent of all flights. The suspension of AI ticket sales has already seen demand and prices shoot up on other carriers, the Indian media has reported that on some domestic routes, prices have already risen by almost 300 percent from the pre-strike period.
Air India offices in Hongkong were not answering calls when contacted by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.
For further details, see www.airindia.in