May 25, 2024, 1:59 pm


FT Online

Published:
2024-05-09 06:43:20 BdST

86 Air India Express flights cancelled as crew goes on ‘mass sick leave’


At least 86 Air India Express flights have been cancelled since Tuesday night as about 300 cabin crew members went on a "mass sick leave" minutes before the departure of their designated planes.

A large number of senior cabin crew members reported sick at the last minute and switched off their mobile phones, NDTV reported.

NDTV sources claimed the airline, a low cost subsidiary of India's largest carrier Air India, is in the middle of a process to merge with Vistara airlines, on orders from parent company Tata Sons.

For executing the merger, the top management at Tata has brought many changes to the job status and benefits for Air India Express staff, leaving many with lower facilities than before and consequently sparking an outpour of disappointment.

The Air India Express management is currently trying to reach out to the crew to learn about and try to address their grievances, NDTV said.

"A section of our cabin crew has 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 minimise any inconvenience caused to our guests as a result," an Air India Express spokesperson said.

"We sincerely apologise to our guests for this unexpected disruption and emphasise that this situation does not reflect the standard of service we strive to provide," the spokesperson added.

Guests impacted by cancellations will be offered a full refund or complimentary rescheduling to another date, the airline said.

Several passengers took to their social media accounts and complained about the sudden cancellations of their flights. They said that they had "no information" about the cancellations.

A "very disappointed" passenger on X said he had reached the airport when he was informed that his flight was cancelled.

"We apologise for any inconvenience. Please be informed that your flight has been cancelled due to operational reasons," Air India Express said in response to his post.

Source: NDTV

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