July 21, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

Air India Express fires 30 crew members

Air India

Following a mass sick leave taken by cabin crew members, Air India Express reportedly terminated the employment of approximately 30 staff who failed to report for duty on Wednesday. The protesting cabin crew members claimed illness, resulting in over 90 flight cancellations and delays, leaving numerous passengers stranded at various airports since Tuesday night.

The termination letter from Air India Express stated, “Your act of reporting sick for work amounts to a concerted action with a common understanding, to not operate the flight and to disrupt services of the Company.” This action was deemed a violation of applicable laws and the airline’s service rules.

In response to the terminations, the Chief Labour Commissioner summoned a meeting with the union and CEO on Thursday. Meanwhile, an Air India Express spokesperson assured that the airline is endeavoring to minimize passenger inconvenience. The spokesperson announced the operation of 283 flights and mobilization of resources with support from Air India. However, 85 flights remained cancelled, urging affected passengers to check the status before heading to the airport.

CEO Aloke Singh announced flight curtailments in the coming days due to crew shortages. Singh highlighted the disruption caused by over 100 cabin crew members reporting sick just before their scheduled flights, severely impacting operations.

The civil aviation ministry sought a report from Air India Express on flight cancellations and urged prompt issue resolution while ensuring passenger facilities per DGCA norms. Notably, the airline, undergoing a merger with AIX Connect and Vistara, had been accused of mismanagement and unequal treatment of staff by the Employees Union.

This development follows pilot woes faced by Vistara, leading to a temporary capacity reduction. As Tata Group consolidates its airline business, including the merger of Air India Express and AIX Connect, passengers expressed frustration on social media regarding Air India Express flight cancellations.

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