A fresh round of talks Thursday between striking Air India pilots and authorities failed to resolve the impasse and end a nine-day strike.

“The talks remain inconclusive, and we hope to continue talks with the striking pilots on Friday,” says a Civil Aviation Ministry official, who was confident that the deadlock would end soon.

Union leaders also expressed hope that the issues would be resolved in a day or two.

“We met for four-and-a-half hours today. Government is making sincere efforts to resolve the issue and has taken some serious steps forward. We are hopeful that the matter will be resolved in a day or two,” says Rishabh Kapur, general secretary of the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA).

Kapur, however, declined to elaborate on the issues discussed during the meeting.

“We will meet again tomorrow ... The talks are going on in a positive direction.”

The pilots went on strike at midnight April 26 demanding equal pay for Air India and erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots in the merged entity.

Meanwhile, fresh trouble is brewing for the crippled Air India management as the All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) demanded immediate implementation of the merger agreements, including better pay and fixed flying hours.