Air India Express cabin crew rejoins work ending second day of disruption

About 175 flights were cancelled due to sudden sick leave calls from crew members

By Reuters, ANI

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The crew and management members of Air India Express agree to restore normal airline operations after senior crew members called in sick that resulted in cancellation of at least 175 flights in two days. — Photo: Reuters file
The crew and management members of Air India Express agree to restore normal airline operations after senior crew members called in sick that resulted in cancellation of at least 175 flights in two days. — Photo: Reuters file

Published: Thu 9 May 2024, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 May 2024, 10:34 PM

Air India Express said on Thursday its cabin crew has rejoined work after reporting sick this week, ending disruptions in services at the Tata Group's budget carrier that cancelled its flights for the second day.

"We sincerely apologise to those inconvenienced by these unintended disruptions. It is not in keeping with our usual service standards, and we will review it internally to ensure accountability," Air India Express spokesperson told Reuters late on Thursday.


Air India Express has cancelled at least 175 flights in the past two days and several others delayed after more than 100 cabin crew took sudden sick leave on Tuesday night.

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Both the crew and management members have agreed to restore normal airline operations after a meeting that continued for about four-and-a-half hours. Crew members told ANI that the termination of 25 crew members has been overturned. All crew members are ready to join office with immediate effect and management is ready to revoke all termination letters, they added.

Out of over 360 daily flights, Air India Express said it has cancelled 85 on Thursday with over 90 impacted a day prior.

The budget carrier operated 283 flights on Thursday with the support of Air India on 20 routes, it had said earlier in the day.

Air India was bought by salt-to-software conglomerate Tatas in 2022. Under the new structure, the airline is being merged with Vistara, while Air India Express merges with AirAsia India.

The disruptions are the latest setback to India's aviation market after Vistara was forced to scale back 25-30 flights a day because of a pilot shortage in April.

Air India Express said it was "taking appropriate steps" against some employees, referring to those cabin crew who reported sick at the last minute.

The airline, which employs over 2,000 cabin crew, flies to 31 domestic and 14 international destinations and has a fleet of over 70 aircraft.

Chief Executive Aloke Singh has said the disruptions "cascaded across the network", forcing the company to curtail the schedule over the next few days.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation had called for a detailed report from Air India Express regarding the matter and had urged the airline to promptly resolve the issues.

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