Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh lashed out at the on-strike Air India pilots once again, calling their strike is 'illegal' and saying the agitating pilots have no intention of coming back to work.
"It was not a strike, because no notice was given. Courts ruled strike illegal. It's been 40 days. At first we said, they should come back without pre-conditions. Now, they've disregarded our appeals, and court's order. We've concluded that they are not interested to come back to work,"
Mr Singh said in a press conference today.
"Air India is in such a financial mess, they could not pay anyone. When they started to recover, then pilots went on strike," he added.
Mr Singh said that talks have been held at every level but have failed, and the Air India management is making new business plans.
The union minister's statement comes a day after he met members of the Executive Pilots Association of Air India in Mumbai.
The executive pilots yesterday had requested Mr S Around 400 Air India pilots owing allegiance to Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) are on strike since May 7 over career progression - the services of 101 pilots have already been terminated. The pilots, under the banner of IPG, are agitating over the rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training and matters relating to their career progression.
Air India, the national carrier, has been suffering losses ever since the pilots went on strike. The management and the Civil Aviation Minister has taken a tough stand vis a vis the striking pilots. The airline has been forced to curtail its international operations due to the striking pilots.
The government has cleared a bailout of Rs. 30,000 crore for the airline. ingh to end the month-long impasse between the pilots, represented by the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) and the airline management. However, the meeting was inconclusive and not much came out of it, sources told NDTV. The executive pilots had written a letter to the Civil Aviation Minister stating that they were stressed and stretched and that, if the minister doesn't budge from his stand, they may have to take a drastic step to shut down international operation completely.