Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), representing non-executive pilots of Air India, reportedly announced plans to proceed with strike action from 24-Nov-2009 (Press Trust of India, 17-Nov-2009). ICPA General Secretary, RS Otaal, stated the carrier’s management “does not seem to be serious” in resolving ICPA’s issues, including the payment of productivity linked incentives (PLI) payments. A section of Air India pilots participated in a ‘silent march’ at Mumbai International Airport on 17-Nov-2009 to protest a delay in PLI payments. ICPA is scheduled to meet with the Chief Labour Commissioner on 20-Nov-2009. National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL), the company established for the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, stated (17-Nov-2009) efforts are being made to settle payments PLI. The company plans to settle PLI payable in Oct-2009, so arrears are cleared to date, given increases in passenger traffic in the recent months. NACIL is also putting in place a payment plan to for Dec-2009, Jan-2010 and Feb-2010. NACIL added the Group of Ministers (GoM) also recently assured its support to Air India in the form of equity infusion and the first installment of USD86.5 million is expected by Jan-2010. [more]
Air India pilots stick by plans for strike action from 24-Nov-2009
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The Australia-India market has experienced rapid growth over the last three years, prompting Australia to lobby for more direct services. Visitor arrivals from India are up 50% since mid-2013, and total passenger traffic between the two countries is up approximately 30%.
Air India launched services to Melbourne and Sydney in 2013 but the Australia-India market is still dominated by Southeast Asian flag carriers. Singapore Airlines has been able to maintain a leading 41% share of the market. Malaysia Airlines also still carries more Australia-India passengers than Air India.
Attracting more nonstop flights from Air India, or the possible launch of nonstop flights to India by Australian carriers, will not be easy despite growing demand. Southeast Asia’s network airlines have a competitive advantage as they serve several gateways in both Australia and India. Southeast Asia’s growing medium/long haul LCCs have also started to compete in the Australia-India market and are well positioned to take a large share of the anticipated growth.