Bangladesh pilots end strike as PM Hasina intervenes

Monday, 1 November 2010 00:59 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Pilots belonging to Bangladesh’s state airline went back to work on Saturday after three days of strike action, heeding the advice of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, officials said.

“Flight operations are normal now and backlog flights are being addressed,” a senior official of Biman Bangladesh Airlines told Reuters. Biman flights had been either cancelled or delayed since Wednesday due to the strike, called to protest the government’s suspension of four leaders of the pilot’s union who opposed terms under which the airline leased aircraft.

Only flights carrying Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia ahead of next month’s annual Haj pilgrimage were unaffected.

Hasina advised the pilots to go back to work when the union leaders sought her intervention. Authorities had given pilots until Saturday to end the strike or face legal action.

The strike has left hundreds of Bangladeshi workers heading overseas stranded at the country’s three international airports since Wednesday.

Biman, which employs 116 pilots, recently leased five aircraft from foreign firms under an agreement that also includes foreign pilots and crew.

The Bangladesh Airlines Pilots Association (BAPA) complained that this deprived local pilots of work.