In further trouble for strike-hit Air India,over 25 of its around 100 executive pilots have reported unwell in last two days,airline officials said. This comes at a time when the carrier is struggling to maintain its international operations. With around 400 members of Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) on strike since May 7,the executive pilots have been operating flights on truncated international routes.
The AI management has already sacked 101 pilots and announced its plan to fill the gap through new recruitment. However,that may take some time.
We wish to place on record that flying the truncated international schedule with just 100 executive pilots is pushing us beyond our limits and we are experiencing the symptoms of cumulative stress and fatigue and will not be able to maintain the schedule for much longer, the Air India Executive Pilots Association have said. Last week,the executive pilots had written a letter to the aviation minister Ajit Singh telling him about the increasing fatigue due to increased work load. However,the airline is yet to come out with a concrete plan to tackle the crisis.
We are looking into the matter… We may come out with something in a day or two, an official of the airline said.
The impact of the strike was also visible on Air Indias cancellations and low occupancy during May. The carrier had to cancel 3.5 per cent of its 350 domestic flights last month. The airlines seat factor too came down to 70 per cent in May.