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Chaos at Mumbai, Delhi airports as pilots go on sick leave


Mumbai : Chaos prevailed at Mumbai, Delhi and other airports across the country as over 400 pilots of Jet Airways stayed away from work on ‘sick leave’ since early Tuesday.

Nearly 20 domestic flights, including several early morning flights on trunk routes like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and other major sectors like Jaipur, Bhopal, Ahmedabad were cancelled. Jet Airways management attempted to club flights or accommodate passengers on alternate flights to minimise inconvenience to fliers.

A section of pilots, who were rostered for flying duties Tuesday have gone on mass sick leave since midnight in protest against the termination of two senior pilots.

Terming the pilots action “as an organised and planned sabotage of operations that would damage the airlines’ operations”, a Jet Airways spokesperson said that it contravened the ongoing conciliation process with the pilots before the Regional Labour Commissioner.

“The Regional Labour Commissioner had categorically stated that any strike by the pilots during this pendency of conciliation, would be deemed an illegal act, as per the Industrial Disputes Act,” the spokesperson told IANS Tuesday morning.

According to an airport official, by 7 a.m. as many as seven flights from Mumbai and nine from New Delhi to various destinations had been cancelled. However, the situation could become worse as the day progresses with the likelihood of flights to more sectors getting hit.

Jet Airways has said that passengers can get either a full refund or re-book themselves on any other flight even as it made efforts to operate the maximum number of flights.