NEW DELHI: Hundreds of passengers were stranded and left fuming at airports on Thursday after a section of Kingfisher pilots too refused to fly to scheduled destinations owing to non-payment of salaries.
Over 25 flights in Kingfisher’s already pruned network were affected after a section of the ATR and Airbus captains refused to fly.
‘’While some of them called in sick, others simply said they won’t fly until they have been paid as promised,’’ a Kingfisher official said. Despite an order from the Delhi High Court, over 200 striking Air India pilots did not report for duty as well. The airline on Thursday sacked nine more pilots on Thursday taking the number of piots whose services have been terminated to 46.
Air India stopped bookings for the US, Canada and Europe-bound flights till Tuesday.
The airline said it was suspending its international operations to New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Toronto, London, Paris and Frankfurt.
Some other foreign destinations are also likely to be affected. ‘’In view of disruptions, Air India has also waived off penalties on refund, cancellations, date change and rebooking for passengers booked to travel up to May 14,” an AI spokesperson said.
“It is a matter of life and death and career for the pilots. Talks were held by Indian Pilots Guild with AI management which did not honour its commitments.
The management is having a non-serious attitude towards our grievances,’” Jitendra Awhad, Indian Pilots Guild president, told reporters.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said: “If they (pilots) are not willing to follow the court order, why would they listen to me. They have to decide to follow the High Court order. That’s the law but they are not willing to do so. What can we do.”
(with PTI inputs)