Friday, January 9, 2009

Air Force readies air-to-air refuellers to face fuel crisis

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has readied its squadron of IL-78 midair refuellers to supply aviation fuel in case the strike by employees of public sector oil firms cripples the aviation sector, an official said here Friday.

"The six IL-78 aircraft have been kept ready to deal with a crisis situation if the need arises," a senior IAF official said.

The IL-78 squadron is based at Agra. A fully loaded IL-78 aircraft carries 60 tonnes of fuel and can refuel two airbuses.

The official added that the strike has not so far affected commercial flights.

The Oil Sector Officers' Association (OSOA), an umbrella body of employees of public sector oil companies, has called the strike in support of its demand for a wage hike.

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