Air India Express Crisis: Airline Suspends 25 Cabin Crew Members After 'Mass Sick Leave' Fiasco

Air India Express Crisis: Airline Suspends 25 Cabin Crew Members After 'Mass Sick Leave' Fiasco

The airline will cut back on flights in the upcoming days in response to the delay and cancellation of over 90 domestic and international flights as a result of cabin crew members reporting sick.

Vikrant DurgaleUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 09:43 AM IST
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Air India Express Crisis: Airline Suspends 25 Cabin Crew | Reuters

Air India Express CEO Aloke Singh said on Wednesday that the airline will cut back on flights in the upcoming days in response to the delay and cancellation of over 90 domestic and international flights as a result of cabin crew members reporting sick.

Budget Air India Express, which runs 350–400 flights per day, of which over 250 are domestic and 120 are international, is reducing its daily flight schedule by about 40 until May 13.

Since Tuesday at midnight on Wednesday, nearly 80 flights operated by Air India Express, a Tata Group airline, have been canceled due to crew issues.

The airline started issuing termination letters on Wednesday to crew members who had reported sick. According to reports, around 25 employees have been terminated.

Since the beginning of the week, more than a hundred cabin crew members have abruptly and prematurely reported sickness, seriously interfering with operations.

The CEO of the airline said in a statement that "the impact was disproportionate, disrupting over 90 flights even though other colleagues reported for duty because this action was primarily by colleagues assigned L1 roles."

Travelers will undoubtedly be impacted by AI Express cancellations during the busiest summer months because capacity is already limited. More than 75 IndiGo planes are grounded because of malfunctioning Pratt & Whitney engines; GoAir has ceased operations; SpiceJet is barely operating a few flights here and there; and new aircraft deliveries from Airbus and the troubled Boeing have been delayed.

Even though Air India Express is providing "a full refund or complimentary rescheduling," impacted travelers might have to purchase extremely expensive last-minute tickets on other airlines, particularly during the weekend.

A month ago, pilots at Vistara, an airline merging with Air India, expressed dissatisfaction with their new salary package and strict duty schedules, forcing Vistara to cancel ten percent of its scheduled flights.

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