Air India dumps low cost domestic services; pilots ready to strike work

Air India has shelved plans for a domestic low-cost carrier, an important component of its restructuring plan. It is likely that the Air India board may take a re-look on the launch of low cost domestic services after a year.

Meanwhile, the Air India's pilots' union, Indian Commercial Pilots Association or ICPA, failed to resolve issues with the management on Thursday. The meeting took place even as a pilot deadline to strike work from 30 November looms.

ICPA, which is backed by some 800 pilots, is protesting against irregular payments by the carrier and seeking uniform pay scale rules within the carrier. The pilots union deferred an earlier strike call on 24 November to 30 November after conciliation meetings with the management and the chief labour commissioner SK Mukhopadhyay last week.

ICPA president Capt. Shailendra Singh said Thursday that all pilots had been instructed to be in readiness to strike work on 30 November, should talks with the management fail.

Air India sources have refused comment.