'Critical' Air India arm-twists govt to hold talks

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Air India strike
New Delhi, May 11: With the aviation crisis snowballing to a larger issue, air passengers are left in the lurch with no solution sight. With the Aviation Ministry taking the legal route to resolve the crisis, the Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, meanwhile, met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday to discuss the issue. The Minister said that his govt was ready for talks with agitating pilots to resolve the issue.

On the matter of revoking ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) against the pilots, Singh said there was no such possibility. He called the meet with the PM positive and that he would follow government policy.

Not letting go of his jestful nature in the face of crisis earlier, Ajit Singh commented on the Air India pilots calling in sick, "The pilots have reported sick. So, I hope they get well soon."

Masking a warning of sorts in the midst of this spiralling crisis, Ajit Singh said that he hoped the Air India crisis doesn't deepen. He added, "I hope things do not go from bad to worse and I hope that Air India doesn't enter the ICU."

Ruling out any chance of a bail out, Ajit Singh said that Air India needs to stand on its own feet. He stated, "We have to see how to make Air India stand on its feet and for that the employees have to work hard. If they only see their personal interest, Air India will sink and all of them will sink with it."

On the issue of safety, Ajit Singh said, "Safety cannot be compromised with. We do not have any tolerance in this case."

On the private airline, Kingfisher also facing a pilots strike, he replied, "Kingfisher is a private airline and has to help itself. They should consider the fact that the strike is affecting the passengers."

OneIndia News

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