Government warns of strict action if Air India pilots do not report for duty by 5 pm

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New Delhi, Sept 30 (ANI): The Central Government on Wednesday warned that it would take strict action against Air India pilots if they do not report for duty by 5:00 p.m. today.

According to sources, a certain section of the pilots are still unwilling to return to work.

The Government said that the Air India management would wait till 5:00 p.m., after which the Civil Aviation Ministry would take action.

Action could include the sacking of the pilots, or the revocation of their licence to fly.

The warning came after Air India executive pilots called off their strike following government assurances to look into their concerns.

Addressing a press conference here, the representative of the striking pilots, Captain VK Bhalla said: "We have called off the strike. The strike is being called off in view of assurances by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel that status quo will continue on issues."

"The Prime Minister asked the Civil Aviation Minister to intervene, who has given us an assurance via the media that there would not be any cuts in the salary. The pilots will resume work with immediate effect," he added.

He also thanked the Prime Minister for intervening in the crisis. Yesterday, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) directed the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India to find an early resolution.

Welcoming the suspension of the pay cuts, Captain Bhalla said that full support would be given to Air India management.

Reacting to the inconvenience caused to passengers, Captain Bhalla, who is spearheading the stir, said: " I apologise to passengers for the inconvenience."

The pilots began their strike on Saturday, weakening the turnaround plan of the ailing carrier.

Earlier this month, hundreds of pilots at India's largest private carrier by passengers, Jet Airways (India) Ltd went on mass sick eave for six days to protest against the firing of two pilots instrumental in forming a pilots" union. (ANI)

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