Air India Strike
Air India Strike Reuters

Air India pilots Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that they would call off their strike with immediate effect after the court asked them to end the 58-day-old stir within 48 hours.

The court ordered the pilots to inform the Air India management of their willingness to rejoin work by submitting letters to that effect.

The pilots, who owe allegiance to the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), were asked to call off the strike unconditionally. In an earlier decision, the court had declared the pilots' strike as illegal.

The pilots were on strike demanding parity in pay and career progression amid protests against management's decision to train pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Air India and Indian Airlines merged into a single entity in 2007.

The Air India management and the Aviation Ministry had asked the striking pilots to join duty unconditionally on several occasions earlier. Nearly 400 pilots, who started the strike by reporting sick en masse May 8, had refused to budge to the pleas of the government or the court till Tuesday.

The pilots had also gone on an indefinite hunger strike from June 24, seeking an early resolution to their demands.

The court directed the Air India management to sympathetically consider the reinstatement of sacked pilots. About 110 of the 423 striking pilots were sacked during the protest period.

The airline's management said that it would consider reinstating the sacked pilots case-by-case once they agreed to join duty.

The strike has cost the state-run carrier more than Rs. 6 billion ($110.3 million) in revenue, apart from causing inconvenience to millions of its passengers.