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Air India Express lays off employees as flight cancellations continue, says it is taking steps to ease crisis

Air India Express on Wednesday terminated the contracts of some senior cabin crew who “called in sick” a day ago, even as the carrier continues to recover from flight cancellations 24 hours into the pandemic. crisis and said in a new statement that he was making efforts. to alleviate the situation.

While there was no immediate clarity on how many employees had been given notice of layoffs by airlines, PTI news agency reported that at least 25 senior crew members had been dismissed from service. However, other publications mention that the number of laid-off employees could reach up to 30.

In a termination letter sent to one of its employees, the airline said an overwhelming number of crew members called in sick at the eleventh hour. “This clearly indicates a premeditated and concerted abstention from work without any justifiable reason,” the letter reads.

According to CNBC, Air India Express further said that the action of the crew members resulted in the cancellation of a large number of flights, affecting the airline’s schedule and causing inconvenience to passengers. It therefore terminated the contracts of the employees concerned with immediate effect.

In the termination letter to its employees, the company added: “Your act is not only subversive to the public interest, but has also caused embarrassment, serious reputational damage and serious monetary losses to the business. »

Air India Express will operate 292 flights today

Amid continued disruptions in flight operations of Air India Express, the airline’s spokesperson informed that the carrier would operate 292 flights with the help of Air India on Thursday, but 74 flights of the airline were canceled .

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“Air India Express is doing everything possible to minimize the inconvenience caused to our customers by this unexpected situation. We will operate 292 flights today. We have mobilized all resources and Air India will support us by operating on 20 of our routes,” the spokesperson said.

“However, 74 of our flights are canceled and we urge our customers who have booked a flight with us to check whether their flight is affected by the disruption before traveling to the airport. If their flight is canceled or delayed beyond 3 hours, they can opt for a full refund or reschedule to a later date without any charges on Tia on WhatsApp (+91 6360012345) or on airindiaexpress.com,” he said. -he adds.

More than 100 employees called in sick at the last minute

In a statement on the cancellation of over 90 flights, Air India Express CEO Aloke Singh on Wednesday announced that the airline would reduce its flights over the next few days due to a large number of flight crews. cabin calling in sick just before their scheduled duties.

“More than 100 of our cabin crew colleagues called in sick before their scheduled flight duty, at the last minute, seriously disrupting our operations. Because this action was primarily by colleagues assigned to the L1 role, the impact was disproportionate, disrupting more than 90 flights even as other colleagues reported for work,” the CEO said in a 350-word statement.

Singh further assured stakeholders of open communication channels and invited dialogue to address concerns.

Aviation Ministry requests report

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  • Meanwhile, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday sought a report on flight cancellations and asked airlines to ensure facilities for passengers as per the norms laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) .

    Further, the ministry asked the carrier, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, to resolve the issue “expeditiously”.

    Mahima Joshi

    Mahima Joshi, Sub-Editor at News18.com, works with the India and Breaking team.

    first publication: 09 May 2024, 07:49 IST