New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh will meet leaders of 13 recognized unions of national carrier Air India Ltd Monday to discuss and resolve the matter relating to pilot's agitation, which has caused losses of over Rs 2.3 billion to the debt-laden airline, media reports said, as the stir entered the 14th day today.
Singh has asked the striking pilots to resume work, underlining that unions have a very key role to play and they should consider the health of the company.
"It is more for familiarization to get to know them. Unions have a very important role to play not only about their demands but they should also look at the whole picture and health of their organization," he told the the Press Trust of India.
The meeting will be attended by the representatives of the Indian Commercial Pilots association, cabin crew, ground handlers and other employees of the carrier. However, the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which has been de-recognized by Air India, has not been invited for the meeting. IPG is spearheading the pilots' stir.
The appeal by the civil aviation ministry to the agitating pilots has so far not yielded any result.
Over 150 pilots of the national carrier called in sick on May 8, protesting the training being imparted to the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots to fly Dreamliner and demanding exclusive rights to operate the aircraft.
The striking pilots of the erstwhile Air India are also demanding security of their seniority and career advancement prospects which they feel will be hampered post the merger of Indian Airlines (domestic) and pre-merged Air India in 2007.
The government is also expected to further curtail Air India's international operations if the agitation by pilots continues.