Things could be getting messier at India's beleaguered state owned airline Air India.
Pilots at India's national carrier Air India have been on strike since May 7 throwing the plans of thousands of travelers into a tailspin.
Bad to Worse?
Now it seems the situation could get worse for travelers to and from India.
Media reports from India say that over two dozen of the Executive Pilots, who have been standing in for the regular pilots, have called in sick.
Air India has been operating a truncated schedule with the help of 120 Executive Pilots.
These pilots are part of the management and have so far not joined in the strike called by the Indian Pilots Guild union.
But 27 of the Executive Pilots have now called in sick.
The Executive Pilots Association wrote to India's Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh last week warning that they can't continue operating flights "at the expense of flight safety."
The letter went on to say, "Flying the truncated international schedule with just 100 executive pilots is pushing us beyond our limits and we are experiencing the symptoms of cumulative stress and fatigue and will not be able to maintain the schedule for much longer.''
Agony for Public
Fatigued pilots, striking pilots, stressed out pilots, canceled flights....rarely ever has the traveling public in any part of the world been subject to such inconvenience.
And for so long.
Air India has canceled several international flights and the airline has been operating only a truncated schedule.
In the NYC area, Air India has canceled the Mumbai-Newark-Mumbai flights until July 31. But flights to JFK airport continue to operate.
If the media reports on the Executive Pilots calling in sick are accurate, the nightmare for passengers booked on Air India flights will only get worse.
The next time you badger your Indian travel agent in Edison (NJ) or Artesia (CA) for the cheapest ticket on Air India, remember that cheap sometimes comes with an 'inconvenient' tag attached to it.