• | 4:30 pm

Air India Express grounded as crew goes on mass sick leave

Air India Express faces disruptions as several crew members went on mass sick leave, leading to the cancellation of at least 86 flights

Air India Express grounded as crew goes on mass sick leave
[Source photo: Chetan Jha]

More than 80 international and domestic Air India Express flights were grounded from late Tuesday through Wednesday after over 300 senior cabin crew reported sick at the last minute and switched off their phones.

The airline crew were protesting against the new employment terms put in place at the airline, which, along with the flagship Air India, completed two years under the Tata group’s management in January.

Air India Express, a low-cost airline, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India that operates about 2,000 flights per week to 45 destinations across India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. 

Officials at the ministry of civil aviation summoned Air India Express executives and sought a report on the cancellation of flights, while demanding a quickly resolution of issues.

Meanwhile, passengers took to social media to complain about the sudden cancellations of flights, demanding fresh tickets or immediate refunds.

The airline has issued a statement saying that a section of their crew reported sick at the last minute starting last night, resulting in flight delays and cancellations. 

Airline teams are actively addressing the issue and trying to minimize any inconvenience caused to their guests, ANI reported, citing company officials.

The airline has reportedly offered to fully refund passengers affected by flight cancellations or the option to reschedule their flights.

The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU), which claims to represent about 300 cabin crew, had last month written to Tata group chairman N. Chandrasekaran alleging mismanagement and a “lack of equality in treatment” of staff.

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