New Delhi: There seems to be no end in sight to the Air India crisis. The pilots' strike entered the fifth day on Saturday and passengers continued to suffer as 15 international flights were cancelled.
On Friday, Air India sacked 25 more pilots taking the total number of sacked pilots to 71 in four days, even as the pilots reached out for talks. Air India also wrote to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to scrap their flying licences.
The airline has framed a contingency plan for international flights starting Monday 6 am. But the passengers have been bearing the brunt of the stand-off.
"We have been waiting at the airport for long. We were told in Delhi that our flight in Mumbai is confirmed. Since we have come here we have been given no response from the authorities. Our visa is about to expire. If we get the tickets for another flight we can pay, but they are not available," a passenger said.
The now de-recognised Indian Pilots Guild has hinted at other Air India employees like ground staff and loaders also going on a strike if issues aren't resolved.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh to ensure airfares don't go up because of the pilots' strike.
The DGCA has issued an order banning other airlines from hiking fares by 20 per cent, saying they should not try to benefit from the unrest in Air India.