New Delhi: The threat of an agitation by a large chunk of Air India's staff from Monday to protest delay in payments of salaries and other dues loomed large on Thursday with a marathon meeting between them and the management failing to yield any result.
The meeting would continue tomorrow, an airline official said late tonight after over nine hours of deliberations between the two sides.
"We are hopeful that the problem would be resolved," he said.
However, Indian Pilot's Guild (IPG) sources said the management has agreed to pay a portion of due allowance along with each month's salary.
In this way the backlog would be cleared in four to five months, but the management had put in a rider that it would be done only when the airline gets money from the government, they said, adding they were not ready to give us "firm assurance".
They said they had come out of the meeting but then they got a call from CMD's office asking them to come again tomorrow for further talks.
Eight major unions representating pilots, engineers and others have sought the Prime Minister's intervention to resolve the crisis, failing which they have threatened to go on a "No Pay, No work" agitation from April two.
Earlier the management had promised a staggered schedule for payment of dues -- one instalment each of salary and productivity-linked incentive (PLI) by this month-end, another such instalment by April end and the remaining portion in May, by when Air India expected to get funds through the equity infusion of Rs 4,000 crore announced in this budget.

But the unions, which have been in talks with the management over the past week, remained unsatisfied and decided to go ahead with their protest action saying they were yet to get any "firm" assurance on clearance of their dues.
Air India faces a whopping Rs 67,000 crore debt and has reported a loss of close to Rs 6,900 crore this fiscal. The airline was also facing an average operational loss of about Rs ten crore daily.
The unions which have given the agitation threat are the Indian Pilots Guild, Air India Officers Association, Air India Engineers Association, Air India Employees Union, Air India Cabin Crew Association, Air India Aircraft Engineers Association, All India Service Engineers Association and Air Corporation Employees Union.
"We have not been paid our flying allowances since November, also our salary of three months are due. We are asking the management either to pay all our dues or give us a 'firm schedule' by which our dues would be cleared. But the management not ready to give us the schedule," said a pilot, who had come for the meeting.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh also tried to soothe ruffled feathers of the protesters saying the government has "stood by them" before and would continue to do so. He also hoped that the employees would realise that the government was doing all it can to resolve the situation.
While announcing their decision to go on " No pay, No work" agitation, the unions
contended that "a significant number of employees come from  humble backgrounds and modest means. While some have availed of education loans, others have financial commitments towards their families. Due to non-payment of our wages for an extended time period, we are unable meet our financial responsibilities."