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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
India Airlines strike 'is over'
Indian Airlines plane
The merger is the latest shake-up in the Indian aviation sector
A strike at India's state-run domestic airline that caused flight chaos across the country has ended, officials say.

Some 12,000 ground staff at Indian Airlines had been on strike demanding better wages and career prospects.

The were angered at a government plan to merge the struggling airline with the country's international flagship carrier, Air India.

The government says the strike was called off following talks between staff and the airline's management.

Details of Thursday's agreement are not yet clear.

The ground staff began their action on Tuesday night. It led to severe disruption of flight traffic.

Indian Airline's flights are expected to be running back on schedule by Thursday evening, officials say.

Indian Airline's recently formally renamed itself 'Indian'.

The company and Air India have faced increased competition from new private airlines in recent years, and Indian Airlines has seen its market share drop to 20%.

Staff had said that the merger with Air India could lead to job cuts or hurt their future prospects.


Indian Airlines operates more than 300 flights a day, carrying some 30,000 passengers.

On Wednesday the Delhi High Court declared the strike illegal and ordered the 12,000 employees to resume work.

The government suspended 23 strikers and was threatening action against others.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the strike was not in the interests of staff or the airline and employees should understand that in times of competition, passengers had other options.

Set up in 1932, Air India is the country's flagship international airline, serving more than 40 destinations worldwide.

Indian Airlines is focused on the domestic market, but recently began some flights to destinations in Asia and the Middle East.

In the last few years, privately owned rivals such as Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines have taken market share from the duo.

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