A fresh round of talks between agitated pilots and management failed Thursday as about 600 pilots continued with their strike for the second day, forcing cancellation of more than 60 flights.
Most of the flights that were canceled Thursday were mainly scheduled out of Delhi and Mumbai. Some 50 flights were either canceled or rescheduled Wednesday. Additional pilots also called in sick to work on Thursday.
Several international flights were also canceled, including those from Delhi to Kathmandu, Kabul and Dubai. Air India announced it will stop accepting bookings until May 4 to clear the backlog.
The strike was called April 26 by the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which comprises about 800 pilots of the former Indian Airlines, demanding pay parity and better working conditions.
The striking pilots union on Thursday demanded that the airline reinstate six pilots who were sacked Wednesday, apart from two others who were suspended, and that the union be recognized again as an official representative. They also want the ouster of Chairman and Managing Director Arvind Jadhav.
The Delhi High Court slammed Air India management Wednesday for not looking into the issues of pilots for more than two decades, while asking the striking pilots to get back to work. However, the court also took a serious view of the pilots’ defiance of its order to end the strike.