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21 February 2024

Airlines say India airports strike will not affect them

By VM Sathish



Airlines operating between the UAE and India have been assured flights will continue despite the prospect of major delays posed by the threatened strike of employees today at all of India’s state-run airports.

MK Ghoshal, leader of the Airport Authority Employees Joint Forum, which represents the 14,000 dissatisfied employees, said the strike is expected to hit operations at 127 airports, crippling domestic and international flights.

“Employees in 127 airports of India will go on a strike and there will be no emergency or safety services to facilitate landings and take-off,” Ghoshal was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Despite the spectre of flight cancellations, delays and baggage pile ups, international carriers in the UAE said they plan to stick to their schedules.

An Emirates official in Dubai said: “Emirates flights to India will continue to operate as per schedule. We have been informed that airport authorities and private ground handling agencies will deploy additional staff to compensate for those going on strike.” Emirates operates 99 flights a week to nine Indian gateways.
Jayasree Ramachandran, official spokesman of Air India in Dubai, said: “We are trying to minimise the inconveniences. The Airport Authority of India has assured airlines including Air India and Indian Airlines that the airports will run normally.”

However, one airline source, who did not wish to be named, was not as hopeful.
“Passengers can expect flight cancellations and baggage pile-ups because if operators are not available, the airlines can’t offload cargo.”

With new international airports due to open in Bangalore and Hyderabad, airport staff are complaining over the planned closure of the existing airports in the two south Indian cities.