Jet stand-off: PM inquires about crisis, conciliation talks tomorrow


As the impasse over the Jet Airways pilots stir continued for the third day on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inquired about the crisis at the Cabinet meeting and hopes for a solution were pinned on tomorrow's conciliation talks convened by the Chief Labour Commissioner.

Over 230 flights including 37 on international routes were cancelled giving passengers an unending ordeal.

Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel gave a detailed update at the Cabinet meeting where Singh is understood to have inquired about the situation.

The question of possible intervention by the Government to end the crisis was also discussed, official sources said, but no view was taken at the meeting.

Jet Chief Naresh Goyal met Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam this evening soon after the latter came out in strong support of the pilots and demanded that the airline be nationalised.

Both the National Aviators Guild(NAG) spearheading the stir over the sacking of four pilots and the Management however stuck to their respective stands.

The Guild president Girish Kaushik said the pilots are ready to return to flying duties in "fifteen minutes" from the moment their four colleagues are reinstated. "Once our four sacked colleagues are taken back, everything will be alright," he said, adding the NAG will take part in the talks.

Saroj Dutta, Jet Executive Director, held a three-hour meeting with Chief Labour Commissioner S K Mukhopadhyay in New Delhi apprising him about the management's stand. The meeting remained inconclusive. The management appears to be unwilling to dilute its demand to disband the NAG which the pilots' body is not agreeable. 

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