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Air travel chaos averted as plane technicians call off Tuesday strike


Technicians at a company that repairs and maintains Air India Ltd. aircraft have called off a strike planned for Tuesday, easing concerns that the industrial action could spark a renewed bout of travel chaos.
Staff at AI Engineering Services Ltd. — a state-run company that counts Air India as its top client — won’t go ahead with their plans after management agreed to meet some of their demands. That includes revisions to workers’ pay by the end of the month and offering career progression opportunities by May 31, according to a joint letter from the company’s chief human resources officer and the union secretary seen by Bloomberg News. The new measures will be valid for four years, it said.
The move offers some respite for India’s aviation industry. Travel plans were thrown into disarray earlier this month after Vistara, jointly owned by Air India’s owner Tata Group and Singapore Airlines Ltd., was forced to cancel more than 100 flights in the course of about a week after pilots called out sick en masse due to complaints about fatigue and pay cuts.
While the widespread cancellations have ceased, the airline cut back 25 to 30 flights a day to create a buffer in its rosters. Air India pilots joined their Vistara counterparts in complaining of being overworked and underpaid, saying the issues are systemic across Tata’s aviation empire.

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