Pilots adamant, AI bleeds

New Delhi: Rs 4 crore a day. That's the loss to the already bleeding Air India (AI) from the pilots' strike which entered its third day on Friday. The Delhi high court's stricture against the strike has not worked. It has now threatened to attached the properties of the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA). The AI management is believed to be contemplating a lockout. As the drama threatens to linger on, passengers stranded everywhere take the brunt. Flights continue to get cancelled and they are being overcharged by private carriers.

 Pilots adamant, AI bleeds

Long wait: Passengers wait in front of ticket counters at Sardar Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad as air services were disrupted due to Air India pilots' strike. PTI

The issue has been festering since 2007 when Indian Airlines was merged with the other national carrier, Air India. The marriage, a cost-cutting effort, has not gone hunky-dory. Thousands of crores pumped into the airline’s resurrection has not delivered the results. So who has gained? Sources in the aviation sector say the money swindled could be in the range of the amount involved in the 2G scam.

In this context, the pilots' argument that the airline has been grossly mismanaged has merit. They maintain that the airline has suffered a loss of Rs 16,000 crore after the merger and hold CMD Arvind Jadhav responsible for the "financial mess’". Their demand for a CBI probe into its affairs appear justified.

But why the blackmailing tactic? Must the poor passengers made to suffer every time the pilots have an issue with the management? The strikes have become far too frequent for comfort. The pilots are alienating the public by their obstinacy.

The truth about AI should be out. Why not the Supreme Court take charge of a CBI-led probe here too?

Updated Date: May 06, 2011 08:56:08 IST