Air India Express Faces Turmoil as Cabin Crew Dispute Sparks Flight Cancellations

Air India Express, Air India Express crew protest, air india express flight news
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In a tumultuous turn of events, Air India Express finds itself grappling with disruptions and employee unrest, as the airline recently terminated 30 cabin crew members following a mass sick call that led to extensive flight cancellations. This comes amidst simmering discontent among staff over new employment terms, alleging unequal treatment and modifications in compensation packages.

The upheaval unfolded when nearly 300 employees called in sick and switched off their phones, causing chaos and leaving 76 flights grounded. The low-cost carrier, a subsidiary of Air India under the Tata group, is now facing a full-blown crisis, with flight disruptions mounting by the hour.

Sources indicate that the cabin crew’s dissatisfaction stems from perceived disparities in job roles and compensation, despite clearing interviews for senior positions. Furthermore, as Air India Express navigates a merger with AIX Connect, formerly AirAsia India, tensions have only escalated.

This turmoil presents a fresh challenge for the Tata group, coming on the heels of disruptions at Vistara, its full-service carrier, due to protests by pilots over alterations in pay packages.

In response to the crisis, Air India Express management has initiated dialogue with the disgruntled crew to discern the underlying causes of the mass sick leave and mitigate inconvenience to passengers.

However, the termination letters issued to the crew members cite a “pre-meditated and concerted abstention from work” as grounds for dismissal, highlighting the severity of the situation. The airline accuses the staff of disrupting operations, causing reputational damage, and financial losses.

Meanwhile, the Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) has raised concerns over mismanagement and unequal treatment, although the airline officially denies recognizing any employees’ union.

The intervention of the regional labour commissioner adds another layer to the unfolding saga, with Ashok Perumalla pointing out “blatant violations of labour laws” and advocating for corrective measures to address the grievances of the employees.

As the turmoil persists, the aviation industry watches closely, awaiting resolution and hoping for the restoration of stability within Air India Express.

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