New Delhi: Notwithstanding the ongoing pilots' strike, Air India on Sunday said it has carried three percent more passengers and also witnessed a jump of five percent in revenue in the first 20 days of June compared to the corresponding period last year.

"Despite the 55-day-old strike by the pilots, Air India carried more than 7,16,000 passengers during the first 20 days of June -- a rise of three per cent, and our revenue increased by five per cent, between June 1 and June 22, to Rs 609 crore from Rs 582 crore compared to the corresponding period of 2011," a senior Air India official said here.

"This indicates that the passengers have shown their faith and commitment towards their national carrier, Air India. Apart from this, we have been maintaining our on-time performance between 85 and 90 percent," the official said.

Prior to the strike, the carrier was able to reduce its cash losses by 62.08 percent to about Rs 80 crore during April, 2012 from Rs 211 crore a year ago even as fuel costs had gone up 16 per cent during the period, the official said.

Trying remain unfazed by the pilots' stir, the airline management is planning to resume its flights to Hong Kong from this week.

"We will resume our flights to Hong Kong from July 6," the official said, adding we are also trying to restart some of our services to East Asia.

Following the strike, from May 7, the airline has curtailed its number of flights from 45 to 38. Among the seven axed international destinations include Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto.

The passenger carrier has already started services to Shanghai and Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the condition of some of the pilots, who are on indefinite fast since Sunday last, is causing concerns, the striking pilots said.

"The health condition of pilots is bad, as they are without food for past eight days," said a pilot.

Till Saturday, eight pilots -- six in Delhi and two in Mumbai -- have been hospitalised after their condition worsened.

Over 400 pilots owing allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild have been on strike since May 7 and about 20 pilots now on indefinite hunger strike in Mumbai and Delhi over demands relating to career progression and revocation of sack orders against 101 of their colleagues.

The aviators said they were ready to end their strike, if their sacked colleagues were taken back and their union get the recognition.

They said, they have gone on strike after the management backtracked from their decided position on the career progression issue after long discussions.


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