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Air India Express to cut down flight operations over next few days amid crew crisis
Crew crisis
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Air India Express to cut down flight operations over next few days amid crew crisis

| @indiablooms | 08 May 2024, 10:13 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: With no resolution over the "mass leave" crisis, Air India Express CEO Aloke Singh has written to employees informing them that the number of flights being operated will be reduced over the next few days.

Since Tuesday night, the airline has cancelled over 90 flights after 300 senior cabin crew members reported sick at the last minute and then turned off their cellphones.

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded owing to the sudden turn of events.

The Air India Express Employees Union also wrote to the management and "highlighted a stark departure from commitments".

In his letter, Singh said over 100 cabin crew members had reported sick, severely disrupting operations.

"The disruptions have cascaded across the network, forcing us to curtail the schedules over the next few days. We had to do this to cope with the non-availability of crew and to recover schedules. This act is certainly not representative of the 2,000-odd cabin crew colleagues in the company who continue to respond to the call of duty and serve our guests with dedication and pride. I am thankful to all who are standing by the airline in this hour of crisis," the CEO wrote.

Expressing his gratitude to employees from other departments who have pitched in to assist in the operations sphere, Singh said the management is available to address concerns at both group and individual levels.

"We are on a journey towards growth and transformation, which will make us one the largest airlines in the region. Enough professional growth opportunities are there for all... Hope to see things get resolved soon," he wrote.

Singh's letter was followed by a post on an internal forum by a senior crew member of Air India Express, who said that the well-being of employees should be the priority.

"I appreciate your (Mr Singh's) message, and I want to express my concerns respectfully. In times when our colleagues are unwell, it's crucial to prioritise their well-being. Understanding their health conditions should be our foremost concern rather than any other agenda," the crew member said.

"It's disheartening to learn about the number of employees falling ill simultaneously, which has indeed disrupted our operations. However, attributing this solely to incompetence overlooks the dedication and honesty with which our crew have served our guests until now. You mentioned departmental town hall meetings, but it feels more like a one-way communication channel. I urge you to genuinely listen to our colleagues' concerns," the post read.

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