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AI Express Resumes Normal Operations After Friday Flight Cancellations

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Air India Express canceled around 75 flights on Friday due to shortage of cabin crew and operations are expected to return to normal by Sunday, an official said, a day after some cabin crew called off their strike , which had led to significant operational disruptions.

Revenue loss caused by flight cancellations and passenger compensation is expected to be around Rs 30 crore, the official told PTI.

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The strike by some cabin crew since Tuesday evening, which resulted in the cancellation of more than 170 flights, was called off on Thursday evening and the airline also withdrew dismissal letters addressed to 25 crew members from cabin on strike.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about 75 flights were canceled on Friday and the number was below 100 on Thursday.

On Saturday, the number of flight cancellations is expected to be around 45 to 50, the official added.

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The airline announced Thursday afternoon that it had canceled 85 flights, or about 23 percent of total daily capacity.

The Tata group airline, which operates around 380 flights a day, scaled back operations following the strike, as part of efforts to minimize disruption. Since Tuesday evening, the carrier has canceled more than 260 flights.

On average, the airline operates 120 international flights and 260 domestic flights daily, with fewer flights on certain days.

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Another official said the striking cabin crew were joining in and the airline was supporting them with the medical examination and obtaining a fitness certificate, which are required before they can resume their duties.

The official also said that most international flights take place in the evening and operations in this area are expected to be better from Friday with the availability of more cabin crew.

Officials said operations were being restored in a phased manner and normalcy was expected by Sunday.

After calling off the strike on Thursday, the airline said it would help quickly restore the flight schedule and also apologized to passengers affected by the flight disruptions.

Many cabin crew have called in sick to protest the airline’s alleged mismanagement and lack of equal treatment of staff.

Air India Express, which is finalizing its merger with AIX Connect, formerly AirAsia India, has around 6,000 employees, including over 2,000 crew members.

The carrier has a fleet of 73 aircraft.