New Delhi: The strike by Air India pilots entered the 26th day on Saturday, pushing up the airline's revenue losses to more than Rs.350 crore, one of the biggest loss suffered by it in any strike.

“The loss is on account of ticket cancellation, unused labour and bulk of Boeing 777 fleet being grounded,” an Air India official said.

“We expect to stabilise our operations and cut the losses to less than Rs.5 crore a day from Saturday,” he added.

The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), representing aviators of the erstwhile Air India, went on strike May 8 against the move to train their counterparts from Indian Airlines on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

On Friday, the carrier shifted to an interim plan to salvage its international operations that have been crippled by strike. “Under the new plan, several destinations where the load factors are quite low have been dropped for now,” the official said.

Among the seven axed international destinations are Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto.

Fuel consumption of the effected sectors has fallen from Rs.16 crore per day to Rs.6 crore as bulk of the Boeing 777 remain grounded. According to the official, bookings for international destinations have also been tweaked.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Friday again asked the agitating pilots to resume work so that negotiations could held. The pilots, when contacted, reiterated their demand of reinstatement of 101 sacked aviators and said none of their major issues were resolved by the announcement.

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan said, “If the airline has to survive, the pilots need to come back. They should think about the long term impact this strike will have on the airline.”


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