Air India Express cabin crew goes on mass sick leave, 78 flights cancelled

The reason for the cancellation of flights is a flash strike by senior officials of Air India Express over differences of opinion with the management.
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Air india express
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Air India Express faced major disruption in services as 78 flights were cancelled and many were delayed after cabin crew called in mass ‘sick leave’ to mark their protest against the ongoing transition in the airline. In 2023, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gave its go-ahead to the Tata Group's initiative to merge the budget airline AIX Connect (previously known as AirAsia India) with Air India Express. Sources said the senior employees, including the cabin crew, are unhappy with the changes.

"A section of our cabin crew reported sick at the last minute, starting last night (Tuesday, May 7), resulting in flight delays and cancellations. While we are engaging with the crew to understand the reasons behind these occurrences, our teams are actively addressing this issue to minimise any inconvenience caused to our guests as a result,” said the airline spokesperson.

"We sincerely apologise to our guests for this unexpected disruption and emphasise that this situation does not reflect the standard of service we strive to provide. Guests impacted by cancellations will be offered a full refund or complimentary rescheduling to another date. Guests flying with us today are requested to check if their flight is affected, before heading to the airport,” said the spokesperson.

About a dozen Air India Express flights from the four international airports in - Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur - of Kerala were also cancelled because of the protest. The flight cancellations began around midnight at airports. These cancelled flights included domestic and international flights. Most of the international flights were routed to the Middle Eastern countries. Several passengers engaged in heated arguments with the counter staff. Some passengers said they had to reach their destinations in the Middle East as their visas were expiring.

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