Air India Considers 15-Day Flight Suspension Due to Protests

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Sept. 29 – State-owned Air India may consider suspending airline operations for 15 days after protests over pay issues reached a standstill.

The Economic Times reported that about 40 Air India flights were canceled on Saturday when scores of executive pilots reported sick in protest of the airline’s decision to cut performance incentives by 50 percent for those receiving incentives of Rs 200,000 or more a month.

For pilots receiving bonuses of up to Rs 10,000 a month, incentives will be cut by 25 percent as part of the airlines measures to drastically lower costs and apply for a government bailout. The Air India executive pilots’ representative, Captain V.K. Bhalla, said in a statement last Friday that “the executive pilots have taken a decision to go on strike because nobody is in a state of mind to work due to the salary cuts.”

Air India, which controls 16 percent of the market, has been bleeding losses amounting to Rs75 billion since March last year and will need Rs50 billion bailout from the government to remain in business.