Air India Express cancellation: Airlines lay off crew members amid massive sick leave fiasco

Air India Express has laid off at least 25 cabin crew members following a significant disruption in operations caused by nearly 300 employees calling in sick and being unreachable by telephone. This led to the cancellation of many flights. Tata Group-owned Air India Express has announced the reduction of its flight services till May 13 after senior crew members called in sick without prior notice, leading to the cancellation of over 100 flights national and international since Tuesday evening, affecting around 15,000 passengers.

The airline’s CEO Aloke Singh said “disruptions have spread across the network, forcing us to reduce schedules over the coming days.” The flight cancellations took place overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. Chaos erupted at some airports, with passengers outraged at not having been informed in advance. At least 16 Air India Express flights were canceled in Delhi on Wednesday, while disruptions were also reported in Bengaluru. In Kerala, the airline canceled several flights from the state’s four airports: Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kannur and Kozhikode.

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Meanwhile, the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked the airline for a detailed report on flight delays and cancellations. He asked Air India Express to take prompt steps to resolve the crisis immediately. The ministry further advised the airline to ensure facilities for passengers as per the standards of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.