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Air India Express Flights Cancelled as Cabin Crew Stage Mass Sick Leave Protest

air india express

New Delhi, India: Air India Express, a subsidiary of Air India, faced significant disruptions as more than 80 international and domestic flights were cancelled due to a sudden “mass sick leave” among senior crew members. Here’s what we know:

The Situation

  • Crew Members: Approximately 300 senior cabin crew members called in sick at the last minute, leading to the cancellation of 86 flights.
  • Mobile Phones Off: Crew members reportedly switched off their mobile phones, exacerbating communication challenges.
  • Protest Against Working Conditions: The crew members are protesting against the airline’s new working conditions, which have apparently led to dissatisfaction and health concerns.

Air India Express’s Response

  • Engagement with Crew: Air India Express management is actively trying to reach out to the protesting crew members.
  • Guests Affected: Passengers impacted by the cancellations will be offered a full refund or complimentary rescheduling to another date.
  • Apology: The airline has sincerely apologized to its guests for the unexpected disruption. They emphasized that this situation does not reflect the standard of service they strive to provide.

Passenger Agitation

  • Kerala Airports: Kerala airports witnessed agitation by passengers, especially those traveling to Gulf nations. Many passengers were informed about the cancellations only after completing security checks1.
  • Investigation: Civil aviation authorities are investigating the matter to understand the root cause of the crew’s mass sick leave.

The sudden cancellations left hundreds of passengers stranded at airports across India, including Delhi, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram. Videos circulating on social media show scenes of frustration and anger, with passengers demanding explanations and alternative travel arrangements from overwhelmed airport staff.

Air India Express is currently attempting to contact the dissenting crew members. The airline has not yet commented on the specific nature of the employment concerns or offered any alternative solutions for the affected passengers.

Air India Express continues to grapple with the impact of this crew protest. Passengers are advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport. The airline aims to resolve the situation promptly and minimize inconvenience for its guests.


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