New Delhi: There seem to be no signs of an end to the deadlock between the striking Air India pilots, the management and the government as all of them continued to stick to their stands.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh asked the striking pilots to first apologise to the passengers if they wished to hold talks with the government. "I appeal to the pilots to give first priority to the passengers. If the passengers get mad at you due to the inconvenience, then neither will there be the airline nor the pilots. So let the pilots ask for forgiveness from the passengers. Don't keep them stranded at the airports or hotels. We can talk on anything after that," Ajit Singh said.
Ajit Singh has invited all the former civil aviation ministers at 4 pm on Saturday to discuss the crisis.
On the other hand, the Indian Pilots Guild claimed that the management wasn't doing enough. "We have been approaching the management and the government at various levels since several years. Right since the time of the Air India-Indian Airlines merger, over a period of time it has only gone more bitter. No serious initiative has been taken by the management to deal with the merger or handle HR issues," IPG General Secretary Captain E Kapadia said.
The pilots said that they were willing to hold talks, but the government and the management weren't. "We are in a state of in limbo at the moment. We are willing, they are not willing to talk to us. We want to talk. We are not talking a hard stand," they said.
The industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said that it was in favour of a strict action against the striking pilots as the agitation entered day 5 on Saturday. Fifteen flights were cancelled on Saturday.