Air India Express Cancels 80 Flights as Cabin Crew Stage Mass Sick Leave Protest

Air India Express Cancels 80 Flights as Cabin Crew Stage Mass Sick Leave Protest

Air India Express, the low-cost airline owned by the Tata Group, has been forced to cancel over 80 flights after a significant portion of its cabin crew members took "mass sick leave" to protest against the airline's management.

The sudden and coordinated sick leave caught the airline off guard on Tuesday, leading to major disruptions in operations. Approximately 80 flights had to be cancelled while many others faced delays across Air India Express' network.

The cabin crew members reportedly took this step to voice their grievances over working conditions, safety protocols, and an alleged lack of communication from the airline's management. Their collective action was aimed at pressuring the authorities to address their concerns.

"We have been raising issues pertaining to our working conditions and safety for quite some time, but there has been no concrete resolution from the management's side," said a cabin crew member, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The mass sick leave is our way of getting our voices heard."

Air India Express issued a statement acknowledging the disruptions and expressing regret for the inconvenience caused to passengers. The airline advised travelers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport and stated that affected passengers would be accommodated on alternative flights where possible.

The Tata Group, which recently acquired Air India from the government, is currently in the process of consolidating its aviation businesses. This incident comes just weeks after Vistara, another Tata-owned airline, faced pilot shortages that led to a 10% reduction in its flying capacity.

Aviation experts have pointed out that such labor unrest is not uncommon during airline mergers and consolidations, as employees may feel unsettled about their job security and working conditions.

The Air India Express management has initiated discussions with the cabin crew representatives to resolve the issues and restore normal operations as soon as possible. However, the airline has cautioned that it may take some time to stabilize the situation completely.

Passengers scheduled to travel on Air India Express flights are advised to stay updated on the airline's official communication channels for the latest information on flight schedules and any potential disruptions.

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