1. Home
  2. English
  3. Business
  4. Aviation: Due to pilots’ ‘sick leave’, AI Express cancels 90 flights; ministry seeks report
Aviation: Due to pilots’ ‘sick leave’, AI Express cancels 90 flights; ministry seeks report

Aviation: Due to pilots’ ‘sick leave’, AI Express cancels 90 flights; ministry seeks report

Social Share

Virendra Pandit

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday sought a report from Air India Express on canceling nearly 90 flights since Tuesday after its pilots and staff suddenly went on “mass sick leave” against potential job losses in the event of the airline’s merger with its parent, Air India.

The ministry called for a report from Air India Express and asked it to resolve the issues promptly amid a section of cabin crew members reporting sick to protest against alleged mismanagement at the airline.

The airline has also been advised to ensure facilities to passengers as per the norms of the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the media reported.

Air India Express said on Wednesday that the airline does not recognize any workers’ union amidst protests from employees who are opposing a new merit-based assessment system and perceived “inequality” in their treatment compared to their counterparts at AIX Connect.

Air India Express and AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) are subsidiaries of the Tata Group-owned Air India, which is in the process of merging to create a unified low-cost airline.

Air India Express and AIX Connect operate around 230 and 150 daily flights, respectively.

An Air India Express spokesperson said: “A section of our cabin crew reported sick at the last minute, starting last night, 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 minimize any inconvenience caused to our guests as a result.”

“We sincerely apologize to our guests for this unexpected disruption and emphasize 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,” the spokesperson added.

Discontent among the Air India cabin crew members stems from concerns over the new performance appreciation policy and perceived inequalities following the merger with Tata Group.

In April, the Air India crew had called for a strike on April 24 but it was called off after the management agreed to meet some of their demands.

The crew alleges that certain staff members were unfairly offered lower job positions despite clearing interviews, leading to feelings of inequality and resentment within the workforce.

The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU), representing a significant portion of the cabin crew, has accused the airline of mismanagement and a lack of equality in staff treatment.

This disruption comes at a critical time for Air India Express, as the airline is in the process of merging with AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) and faces challenges in streamlining operations and catering to the increased demand.


Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code