At least 24 Air India flights have been cancelled after a major pilots' union went on strike at midnight.

Several other Air India flights are reportedly running upto three hours late. In retaliation, the management of the airline has derecognised The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association (ICPA), sealed its offices in Mumbai and Delhi, and declared the strike illegal. Here is the statement issued by Air India: The Air India management has in an appeal to its pilots urged them to rejoin their duties and not to act on the illegal instructions of the now de-recognised ICPA. The management described the ICPA action as illegal, unfortunate and most irresponsible. "Are they working towards Air India's extinction," said a senior official while pointing out how the company had struggled in the recent past and successfully managed to do peak domestic bookings for the summer holidays. Clearly ICPA had no concern for the great inconvenience their action would cause to the travelling passengers / guests. "The ICPA decision was also most ill-timed as the company is bleeding and facing closure," he added. The spokesperson pointed out that ICPA had also not kept its commitment to the Delhi High Court, the Government of India and the Hon'ble Minister of Civil Aviation. They had assured that they would not go on strike or cause any disruption, he added. In fact this irresponsible behaviour of ICPA has now raised questions about whether such highly paid categories like pilots should be continued to be called "workmen" under the ID Act. As of 2015 hours, Air India operated 192 flights. There were 24 cancellations and nine flights were combined. The company operates 320 flights in a 24 hour period. Air India April 27, 2011

Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/air-india-statement-on-pilots-strike101825?slider&cp

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