Despite the warning, National carrier Air India on May 8, 2012 sacked ten pilots on strike. The airline also de-recognised its union and sealed its offices after 160 of them failed to join duty.
Due to the protests of the pilots, five international flights were cancelled since midnight. Ajit Singh, the aviation minister termed the agitation as illegal and that more severe action was expected if the pilots did not report till 6 pm today.
A spokesperson from Air India revealed, flights on Delhi-Toronto, Delhi-Chicago, Mumbai – Hong Kong through Delhi sectors had to be cancelled due to non-availability of pilots. Reports say that about 160 pilots did not report to duty and the services of at least ten pilots including the office bearers on the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which is the leading agitation, were terminated.
After the de-recognition of the of the IPG, its offices in Mumbai and Delhi were sealed. The aviation minister said that the pilots went on sick leave and did not reported to work. The minister also said that appropriate action will be taken if the pilots did not return to work. The management of the airline also sent doctors to the houses of the pilots who were reporting sick.