Flagship carrier Air India's woes deepened as it was forced to cancel most of its domestic flights by a pilots' strike over pay that entered its fourth day Saturday.The financially ailing state-run carrier, which says it has lost $6 million in revenues so far due to the strike, said it was operating just 39 domestic flights out of its regular 320, according to the Press Trust of India.The airline is "operating on only trunk routes" to major Indian cities, an Air India spokesman said."We do not have any pilots," he added.
A union said Saturday it was ready for unconditional talks to end a five-day walkout by pilots of national carrier Air India, as the airline fired 25 more strikers and cancelled more flights.Some 200 pilots from the debt-laden airline, which is facing mounting problems due to rising fuel prices, competition from low-cost rivals and a record of labour disputes, have been on strike since late Monday.
Flagship carrier Air India's flight operations were gradually returning to normal Saturday after pilots ended a 10-day strike that cost the ailing airline millions of dollars in lost revenues.Close to 700 pilots working for the domestic service of state-run Air India launched the strike to demand wage parity with colleagues flying international routes."The pilots are already reporting back to work," the airline's general manager K. Swaminathan told AFP on Saturday after union leaders announced an end to the walkout late the previous night.
About 12 hours after AirAsia flight QZ8501 with 162 people on board disappeared and lost all contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 am local time (11:17 pm GMT Saturday), the aircraft searching for any clue of what may happened to the second unexplained disappearance of an airplane flying in the region, have been called off due to nightfall even as ships will continue their search through the night.