Air India operates 60 per cent of its flight capacity

Air India operates 60 per cent of its flight capacity

The national carrier operated 190 out of its 320 scheduled flights till 1700 hours today with its narrow-bodied aircraft, offering a little over 60 per cent of its normal capacity.

This amounted to about 25,000 seats on its network in the domestic sector and on flights to neighbouring countries.

"We are ready to operate our entire schedule. All aircraft and the full complement of pilots are available. But we are also looking at the loads on the flights to make the flights financially viable," an Air India official told PTI.

Air India operated 38 of 52 flights out of Delhi, with the official saying total normalcy in operations could be expected by Wednesday.

"We are enhancing our operations in a phased manner matching the ticket bookings which are gradually picking up, after remaining closed for a long period during the strike. There is no point in launching flights when seats are not filled up", he said.

Similarly, Air India operated about 65 per cent of its flights from Mumbai, though the overall percentage of its total of 320 services remained around 60 per cent, the official said.

He said the operations were carried out mostly by narrow-bodied, single-aisle aircraft like the Airbus A-320s.

Air India's wide-bodied or twin-aisle aircraft operations on international routes and Air India Express operations to the Gulf were normal, an airline spokesperson said.

The bookings were opened on Saturday after the pilots called off their ten-day strike the previous night following an understanding reached between the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and the Civil Aviation ministry after protracted negotiations.

Air India had suspended fresh bookings on the third day of the strike and was operating about 10 per cent of its flights across its domestic network.

The stir resulted in a loss of about Rs 160 crore with the national carrier grounding 90 per cent of its operations, officials said.

About 800 pilots, belonging to the erstwhile Indian Airlines and owing allegiance to the ICPA, had gone on strike demanding, among other things, pay parity with Air India colleagues and a probe into their allegations of corruption in the airline.