Cabin crew protests lead to flight cancellations at Air India Express

Cabin crew protests at Air India Express led to flight cancellations, leaving passengers stranded. Discontent among staff, exacerbated by ongoing mergers, prompts sick reports, while the airline cites “operational reasons”.

Amid a wave of cabin crew protests over alleged mismanagement at Air India Express, the airline has been compelled to cancel numerous flights, leaving passengers stranded at various airports, including Kochi, Calicut, and Bengaluru.

Sources reveal that a significant portion of cabin crew members started reporting sick on Monday evening, resulting in a shortage of staff and subsequent flight cancellations. Discontent within the cabin crew ranks has been simmering for some time, exacerbated by the ongoing merger process of AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) with Air India Express.

Last month, a union representing Air India Express cabin crew voiced concerns over alleged mismanagement and disparities in staff treatment. The recent surge in sick reports reflects mounting tensions within the airline.

Passengers have taken to social media platforms to express frustration over the abrupt flight cancellations. In response, Air India Express issued apologies, citing “operational reasons” for the disruptions. The airline offered affected passengers the option to reschedule flights within the next 7 days or request full refunds through their chat bot, Tia.

This turmoil at Air India Express follows pilot shortages faced by Vistara, another Tata Group-owned airline, which recently announced a temporary reduction in capacity by 10% or 25-30 flights per day.

The backdrop of these operational challenges lies in Tata Group’s broader strategy to consolidate its airline business. The conglomerate is in the process of merging Air India Express and AIX Connect, along with Vistara’s integration with Air India.

As disruptions persist and passenger inconvenience mounts, the aviation industry closely monitors developments within these Tata Group airlines, mindful of the implications for both travelers and the broader sector.