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Sep 30, 2009 at 02:35am IST

Praful Patel asks AI pilots to end strike

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel asked the striking Air India pilots to resume their duties by Wednesday, failing which the airline was free to take any decision.

"Current situation in Air India due to strike by executive pilots is a matter of concern," he said.

ALSO SEE AI pilots' strike enters 4th day, 45 flights cancelled

Assuring the pilots, who are on strike for the last four days, that no cost-cutting measure would be taken without taking their views into consideration, Patel said there is no pay-cut as of now for the executive pilots as the decision will not be implemented without consulting them.

TIME TO FLY: Praful Patel urged Air India pilots to give up their agitation and report back to work.

Patel after talking about various "turnaround" schemes by both the Government and the airline, asked the pilots to return to their duties.

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"Please, cooperate. Join your duties," Patel told the striking employees. I hope the entire airline (AI) will come back to full operation from tomorrow, failing which the management will be free to take any decision that it feels is necessary," he said.

However, he also said it is imperative to understand that it is not possible to absorb the current high cost structure.

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