More Flights Cancelled as Air India Express Sacks 30 Crew

More terminations are likely today as the airline has given an ultimatum to the employees to join work by 4 pm today or face action. The airline has called a town hall later today.

By Sam
New Update
Air India Express

Flight cancellations are likely to continue for the next few days

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A day after nearly 300 cabin crew members called in sick and went on mass leave, Air India Express has sacked at least 30 cabin crew. The crew members had sent sick leave messages and switched off their phones, leading to large-scale flight disruptions.

Sources said that more terminations are likely today and Air India Express has given an ultimatum to the employees to join work by 4 pm today or face action. Air India has also called a town hall today.

Meanwhile the cancellations of flights continued for the second day today and as many as  76 flights have been cancelled as the disruptions snowballed into a full-blown crisis for Air India Express, which is a subsidiary of Air India, now owned by the Tata group.

Cabin Crew Upset

The employees are protesting against the new employment terms, sources said. The cabin crew has alleged ack of equality in the treatment of staff. Employees claim that some staff members have been offered lower job roles despite clearing interviews for senior positions. The crew has also flagged some modifications in their compensation package. 

The termination letter issued to the 30 crew members says that the mass leave "clearly points to a pre-meditated and concerted abstention from work without any justifiable reason".

"As a result of the above, a large number of flights had to be cancelled thereby disrupting the entire schedule, which caused tremendous inconvenience to the Company's esteemed passengers. Your act is not only subversive of public interest, but has also caused embarrassment, severe reputational damage, and serious monetary loss to the Company.

Air Asia and Air India Express
The crisis comes at a time when the the Air India Express merger with Air Asia is happening

Air India Crisis

This is the second major crisis for Air India Express and comes just a month after its full-service carrier Vistara witnessed disruptions due to protests by pilots over emplyment terms,  rostering for flights and changes in their pay packages. The developments come at a time when the airline is in the middle of a merger with AIX Connect, formerly known as Air Asia.

An Air India Express spokesperson yesterday said the management is engaging with the crew to understand the reasons behind the mass leave and added that they are working to minimise inconvenience to the fliers. The airline management plans to hold a townhall with cabin crew members today. 


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