India's Jet cancels over 100 flights due to pilot dispute

Singapore
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More than 100 Jet Airways flights were cancelled today after dozens of its pilots called in sick to protest the sacking of two colleagues.

Of the 116 flights, only one was an international service and the rest were on domestic routes, says the Indian carrier. It does not specify whether this includes flights cancelled at units Jetlite and Jet Airways Konnect.

Indian media reports suggest that 300-400 pilots have called in sick, apparently protesting Jet's alleged sacking of two pilots for joining the National Aviator's Guild, a newly established union.

In late August, the union threatened that up to 650 pilots could go on strike today but that plan was later cancelled.

"As per the directions of the Regional Labour Commissioner, Jet Airways has been in a conciliation process with the pilots," says Jet. "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. "

It adds that a section of the pilots who were rostered for operations resorted to a "simulated strike by reporting sick". "This organised activity is a planned sabotage of operations that will damage the airline's operations and inconvenience the travelling public," says Jet.