A DISPUTE between Air India pilots and management with regards to the national carrier's faltering merger with Indian Airlines has led to hundreds of its pilots engaging in a 'sick leave' protest.
At the centre of contention are efforts by Air India management to integrate and enforce parity in the employment status of both airlines' flying staff.
More than 400 Air India pilots have called in sick for the eighth day in a row, wreaking havoc on the airline's flight schedule. Earlier today, 10 international flights from Mumbai and New Delhi were cancelled.
The airline has reacted by suspending 11 of the 'errant' pilots, with a recommendation to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to revoke their pilot licences.
The aviation authority has so far refused to engage in discussions with the suspended pilots and their de-recognised union, the Indian Pilots’ Guild.
Meanwhile, the authority warned that it may enforce a complete shut down of Air India’s international operations if the situation deteriorates over the coming week.