THE ONGOING strike by Air India pilots (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 15, 2012) has forced the national carrier to further curtail its international operations by switching to a truncated interim schedule for May-June 2012.
From May 21 until June 29, flights have been cancelled on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Newark and Amritsar-Delhi-Toronto (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 17, 2012) sectors. Cancellations have also hit the New Delhi-Hong Kong-Seoul, Calicut-Riyadh and Mumbai-Riyadh routes from May 24 to end-June, while New Delhi-Hong Kong-Osaka services will be halted from May 26 to June 30.
On the domestic front, Air India's flights from New Delhi to Hyderabad and Mumbai, and between Mumbai and Chennai will be suspended from the third week of May until June 30. Additional domestic destinations are expected to be dropped from the carrier’s regular schedule.
Several of Air India's international services have also seen a reduction in flight frequency. Its New Delhi-Tokyo (Narita) flights will decrease from five times to twice-weekly, while Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai (Pudong) services will drop from four times to twice-weekly.
India’s transport ministry has warned the striking pilots that the carrier will have no option but to hire replacements if the dispute is not resolved soon.