The Indian government might be forced to shut down the International operations of the national carrier if more pilots from the management joint the Air India (AI) pilots. The AI pilots have been striking from May 7.

The pilots have been given managerial work are known as the management or executive pilots. The management pilots are equally divided between the AI and the Indian Airlines pilots.

At present the management pilots are managing the long haul flights but there is a fear that even these pilots might join the agitation. An official from the government said, If that happens, we will shut down international operations. As it is, 80%-90% of our losses are incurred on international routes and we have only 4% market share … We have nothing to lose”.

A change in the AI’s hiring policy has also been proposed. The official said that those who are minimum graduates will be taken and at present those who have passed 12th can be taken. The 12 day protest has caused the airline has caused the AI a loss of whopping Rs 200 crore. Meanwhile, AI has sent a list of around 10 pilots to the DGCA and asked the regulator to get their medical examination from the Air Force doctors.