The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a petition by national carrier Air India alleging that its pilots who were staying away from work were in contempt of court for not following the apex court’s order on the training schedule for the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft.
The apex court while rejecting the petition told the Air India counsel that the airline should sit with its pilots and sort out the differences between them.
Indian Express reported that the bench of Justice TS Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra said ,”What is the direction defied by the pilots? There is no positive direction that the Indian Airlines pilots must go for training.”
The bench also reportedly observed that the Delhi High court was already looking into the matter and said the pilots had not done anything which constituted contempt of court.
The strike by the pilots of the airline entered its fourth day today with 20 flights being cancelled today. The airline has also cancelled all US and Europe flights until 15 May.
Meanwhile Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh also met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today where the issue of pilots staying away from work was discussed.
The Prime Minister has reportedly asked the Minister to ensure that air fares don’t rise too much on account of the pilots’ strike affecting airline schedules.
Air India had argued before the Supreme Court today that the action of the IPG was in violation of the 23 April and 2 May order of the apex court by which it was made clear that the training programme for the Boeing Dreamliner will be imparted in equal ratio to the pilots of pre-merger Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines.
The IPG, whose members have been reporting sick, are protesting the national carrier’s move to send pilots from both Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines in equal numbers to get trained for flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the first of which is likely to be inducted later this month. The training program began on 8 May in Singapore.
with inputs from PTI