New Delhi: After virtually shutting the doors on 100 sacked Air India pilots, Government is working on a plan to replace them with those shed by some private airlines like Jet Airways.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Thursday said alternative plans were being made to ensure that operations of the state- run carrier were normalised within two-three months so that the revival plan could be put in place.

Observing that there were about 500 expat pilots in the country, he said, "We have to get in touch with them."

There are about 60-odd expat pilots, trained on wide-body aircraft like Boeing 777s or Airbus A-300s, whose contracts with Jet Airways have ended or are about to expire.

Kingfisher Airlines is also facing trouble and the government is hoping that there would be sufficient trained pilots looking for safer haven.

Maintaining that the 31-day-old strike was illegal and "without any logic", Singh said it was clear from the attitude of the agitators that "they don't want to work with this organisation (Air India)."

He justified his contention by saying these pilots did not want to work with other pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines or the management and had rejected the Dharmadhikari Committee report, which provided for their pay-scales and career graph security.

The Minister had on Wednesday said that for him, the strike was over and he did not see any point in the striking pilots coming back.


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