Kerala passengers disappointed as Air India Express flights canceled for second consecutive day

Air India Express passengers who were promised travel to various destinations from Kerala airports found themselves stranded on May 9 as their flights were unexpectedly canceled for the second day in a row.

Travelers at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kannur airports were left disappointed when flights to Gulf countries were canceled at the last minute for the second day in a row.

The sudden cancellation sparked frustration and caused inconvenience among passengers who were relying on the airline’s assurance for their travel plans.

“Air India Express assured me yesterday (May 8) that I would be able to travel to Qatar on Thursday. But they did not keep their promise. I was told at the last moment that my flight was canceled again for the second day “consecutive,” an aggrieved passenger told reporters at Karipur airport in Kozhikode.

Another passenger, who claimed his work visa would expire on May 9, told a TV channel at Thiruvananthapuram airport that when his flight to the Gulf region was canceled on May 8, he was given a ticket for Thursday.

“When I arrived here (Thiruvananthapuram airport), the airline told me that the flight was canceled. If I don’t reach my workplace this evening, my visa will expire and I will lose my employment,” he said.

Another passenger at Thiruvananthapuram airport said AI Express asked him to take a ticket on another airline, but he was unable to do so.

“Why can’t they help us get tickets on another airline? Let them charge us for that,” he said.

Replacement tickets

Air India Express passengers arriving from Kannur airport found themselves stranded once again as the airline canceled several flights. The morning flights to Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were among four flights canceled since May 8.

However, some passengers stranded in Kannur were finally given replacement flight tickets after long waits amid the protests.

Air India Express has sent termination letters to around 25 cabin crew members who called in sick, leading to the cancellation of over 90 flights, airline sources said on May 9.

The Tata group-owned airline also issued an ultimatum to other cabin crew who called in sick to return to duty by 4 pm on May 9 or face dismissal, they added.

Air India Express has also canceled at least 60 flights for May 9 due to non-availability of cabin crew, the sources said, adding that mass departures of some cabin crew have caused immense inconvenience to passengers.

(with input from Kannur office)

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