Many Air India Express flights cancelled as staff ‘reported’ sick

At least 78 international and domestic Air India Express flights were canceled after senior crew members reported sick overnight without notice.

May 8, 2024 - 15:52
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Many Air India Express flights cancelled as staff ‘reported’ sick

At least 78 international and domestic Air India Express flights were canceled after senior crew members reported sick overnight without notice. The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has sought a report from Air India Express regarding the cancellations and asked the airline to resolve issues promptly.

The Ministry also advised the airline to ensure facilities for passengers as per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation norms.

Airline sources said that they suspected the crew members to be unhappy with the performance-linked incentive component of salaries after the revamp and restructuring. The sources also said that the crew members wanted to avoid chaos at airports.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach out to the protesting cabin crew members have been fruitless so far.

In a statement earlier, an Air India Express spokesperson said, "A section of our cabin crew reported sick at the last minute, starting last night, resulting in flight delays and cancellations. While we are engaging with the crew to understand the reasons behind these occurrences, our teams are actively addressing this issue to minimize any inconvenience caused to our guests as a result."

The spokesperson urged passengers flying with Air India Express today "to check if their flight is affected, before heading to the airport".

Meanwhile, sources on Wednesday told a news agency that more than 200 cabin crew are believed to have reported sick. Flight disruptions were reported at various airports, including Kochi, Calicut and Bangalore, they added. In Delhi, 16 Air India Express flights were canceled today.

Air India Express said that a full refund or complimentary rescheduling to another date will be provided to the passengers.

The airline, which is in the process of merging AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) with itself, is to operate 360 daily flights during the summer schedule that started in the last week of March. Discontent has been brewing among cabin crew members at the low-cost carrier for a while, especially after the start of the merger process.

Air India Express, now owned by the Tata Group, was issued a show cause notice by the Union Labour Ministry in December 2023 for alleged violations of regulations related to disputes between the airline's management and cabin crew members. The notice was linked to concerns raised by cabin crew members, including issues with room sharing during layovers.

 

 

 

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