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Air India Express cancels 85 flights due to shortage of cabin crew; to operate 283 flights

New Delhi: Travelers’ woes with Air India Express continued for another day, with the airline canceling 85 flights, or about a quarter of its capacity, on Thursday even as it laid off at least half a dozen crew cabin crew who were among those reported sick to protest against alleged mismanagement.

On Wednesday, the airline reportedly laid off 25 cabin crew members while asking the rest to return to duty on Thursday at 4 p.m.

The airline did not directly mention the dismissal, but a statement said it is taking appropriate action against certain individuals as their actions have caused serious inconvenience to thousands of passengers.

“While we will continue to engage with our cabin crew colleagues with a commitment to address any concerns, we are taking appropriate action against certain individuals as their actions have caused serious inconvenience to thousands of our guests,” a- he declared.

“We are going to operate 283 flights today. We have mobilized all resources and Air India will support us by operating on 20 of our routes. However, 85 of our flights are cancelled,” he said.

While urging those who have booked a flight with Air India Express to check whether their flight is affected by the disruption before heading to the airport, the statement said that if their flight is canceled or delayed by more than three hours, they can opt for a full flight. refund or postponement to a later date without any charges on WhatsApp (+91 6360012345) or on airindiaexpress.com.

Thursday’s cancellation represents about 23 percent of the 368 daily flights scheduled by the Tata group-owned airline. In an earlier statement, the airline said it had canceled 74 flights and would operate 292 services.

The Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday sought a report from the airline regarding the cancellation of flights and asked it to resolve the issues quickly. The airline has also been advised to ensure facilities to passengers as per DGCA guidelines.

The protest by Air India Express, which is in the process of merging with AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India), comes almost a month after pilots of sister airline Vistara protested the pay structure, leading to to a reduction in capacity of 25 to 30 daily flights for certain days.

The merger process has sparked discontent among some cabin crew, with sources saying around 200 cabin crew have called in sick since Tuesday evening as part of their protest.

Published May 9, 2024, 08:18 STI