Air India Express flight cancellations: Airline lays off 30 cabin crew; Travelers opting for other airlines may have to pay a higher airfare: 10 things to know

Air India Express, which operates between 350 and 400 flights per day, including more than 250 domestic routes and 120 international routes… Read more
Cancellation of Air India Express Flights: Air India Express, the Tata Group’s budget airline, is grappling with ongoing challenges amid the airline merger process. The airline, which operates between 350 and 400 daily flights, including more than 250 domestic and 120 international routes, announced a reduction of around 40 flights per day until May 13.

This situation echoes recent problems faced by Vistara, the full-service carrier also in the process of merging with Air India. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 300 AI Express cabin crew members began calling in sick, leading to the cancellation of more than 90 flights Wednesday evening. In response, the airline began issuing termination letters to crew members who called in sick. With aircraft occupancy currently exceeding 80%, cancellations affected approximately 13,000 passengers.

Air India Express flight cancellations: 10 things to know

  1. Air India Express laid off 30 cabin crew members who were part of a group of around 300 people who called in sick simultaneously starting Tuesday evening.
  2. The dismissal letters addressed to the dismissed cabin crew accuse them of having abstained from work, in a premeditated and concerted manner, without valid reason, leading to the cancellation of numerous flights and causing inconvenience to passengers, an attack on reputation and financial losses for the company, it is specified. a TOI report.
  3. The Tata Group’s budget airline has reduced its daily flights by around 11% until May 13.
  4. Due to shortage of cabin crew, Air India Express on Thursday canceled 74 flights and announced that Air India would operate services on 20 of its routes to minimize disruption.
  5. Passengers whose flights are canceled or delayed more than three hours have the option to request a full refund or reschedule their flight at no additional cost. The number of canceled flights represents approximately 20% of the airline’s scheduled daily flights.
  6. AI Express cabin crew are protesting against human resource issues arising from the erstwhile AirAsia India’s impending merger with the airline. The AI ​​Express employees’ union, which the airline’s management does not recognize as an official union, had written to Tata group chairman N Chandrasekaran on April 26, 2024, expressing concerns over the unrest and to growing discontent among employees, according to the TOI report.
  7. The situation remains fluid as senior cabin crew call in sick at the last minute, just before their scheduled flight time. Although the airline is proactively canceling flights through next Monday, the actual number of cancellations may vary depending on crew availability.
  8. AI Express cancellations during the peak summer season are expected to impact travelers as capacity is already limited due to various factors such as over 75 IndiGo planes being grounded due to engine issues, shutdown of GoAir, scaling back operations of ailing SpiceJet. , and slower-than-expected deliveries of new planes from crisis-hit Airbus and Boeing, the TOI report said.
  9. Although Air India Express is offering full refunds or free rescheduling, affected passengers may have to purchase last-minute tickets on other airlines at significantly higher spot fares, especially during weekends.
  10. The aviation ministry has asked the airline to provide a report on the mass cancellations and resolve the issues quickly. The airline has been advised to ensure that passengers are provided with facilities that meet DGCA standards.
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