Cabin Crew Protests Lead to Over 100 Flight Cancellations at Air India Express

ByTV10 Punjab

May 9, 2024
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National Desk
8 May
Sandeep Dhand Ludhiana

Air India Express, owned by the Tata Group, faced significant disruptions as over 100 flights were canceled since Tuesday night due to a portion of cabin crew reporting sick in protest against alleged mismanagement. The cancellations have affected around 15,000 passengers, particularly those traveling to Gulf countries.

The shortage of cabin crew has prompted the airline to curtail flights until May 13, impacting both domestic and international services. The Civil Aviation Ministry has intervened, demanding a report from Air India Express and urging prompt resolution of the issues.

Passengers, mainly bound for the Gulf, faced delays and protests erupted at airports in Kerala as many were notified of cancellations only after security checks. With over 200 cabin crew members reporting sick, flight operations suffered disruptions at various airports across the country.

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To address the crisis, Air India Express plans to collaborate with other Tata Group airlines like Air India and Vistara. A spokesperson for the airline stated efforts to engage with cabin crew and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the disruptions.

The unrest among cabin crew follows discontent brewing over time, particularly since the initiation of merging AIX Connect with Air India Express. This incident unfolds a month after Vistara, another Tata Group carrier, grappled with pilot shortages, resulting in capacity reduction.

As part of Tata Group’s airline business consolidation, the merger of Air India Express and AIX Connect, along with Vistara’s integration with Air India, is underway. Air India Express CEO Aloke Singh acknowledged the disruption caused by cabin crew members reporting sick, emphasizing its severe impact on operations.

The developments underscore the challenges facing the aviation sector amidst corporate restructuring and employee grievances, affecting thousands of passengers and raising concerns about service reliability.