Air India Express cancels 85 flights due to cabin crew shortage; to operate 283 flights

In a significant decision, sources said Air India has issued termination letters to around 25 cabin crew members who reported sick to protest against alleged mismanagement at the airline that forced it to cancel more than 100 flights since Tuesday night.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 09 May 2024, 08:18 IST
Last Updated : 09 May 2024, 08:18 IST

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New Delhi: Fliers' troubles with Air India Express continued for another day with the airline on Thursday cancelling 85 flights or around one-fourth of its capacity even as it sacked at least half-a-dozen cabin crew who were among those reported sick in protest against alleged mismanagement.

On Wednesday, the airline is learnt to have sacked 25 cabin crew while asking others to return to duty by 4 PM on Thursday.

The airline did not directly mention the sacking but a statement said it is taking appropriate steps against certain individuals as their actions have caused grave inconvenience to thousands of passengers.

"While we will continue to engage with our cabin crew colleagues with a commitment to address any concern, we are taking appropriate steps against certain individuals as their actions have caused grave inconvenience to thousands of our guests," it said.

"We will be operating 283 flights today. We have mobilised all resources and Air India will support us by operating on 20 of our routes. However, 85 of our flights stand cancelled," it said.

While urging those who have booked to fly with Air India Express to check if their flight is affected by the disruption before heading to the airport, the statement said, if their flight is cancelled, or delayed beyond three hours, they may opt for a full refund or reschedule to a later date without any fees on WhatsApp (+91 6360012345) or on airindiaexpress.com.

The cancellation on Thursday accounted for around 23 per cent of the Tata Group-owned airline's scheduled daily flights of 368. In the earlier statement, the airline said it has cancelled 74 flights and will be operating 292 services.

On Wednesday, the  Ministry of Civil Aviation called for a report from the airline regarding cancellation of flights and asked them to resolve issues promptly. The airline has also been advised to ensure facilities to passengers as per DGCA guidelines.

The protest in Air India Express, which is being merged with AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India), comes almost a month after pilots of sister-airline Vistara went on protest over salary structure, leading to cutting down capacity by 25-30 flights daily for some days.

The merger process has led to discontent among a section of cabin crew with sources claiming that around 200 cabin crew have reported sick since Tuesday night as part of their protest.

Published 09 May 2024, 08:18 IST

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