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Cancellation of Air India Express flights puts passengers in a spot

INDCancellation of Air India Express flights puts passengers in a spot

Terminal 3 of the Kochi airport after passengers had left following the cancellation of two flights to Middle East destinations in the early hours of May 8.
| Photo Credit: H. VIBHU


Air India Express cancelled four international flights scheduled for early hours May 8 (Wednesday) triggering protest from passengers, who were stranded at Cochin International Airport. Many passengers demanded alternative flight arrangements on May 8 (Wednesday) itself to allow them to join duties to avoid possible job loss.

According to Wednesday’s schedule available online, a flight each to Sharjah, Bahrain, Dammam and Muscat from Kochi between 2.05 a. m. and 8.50 a. m. were cancelled. An earlier flight to Dubai had taken off after 12 midnight Tuesday. Among the flights that were cancelled was one to Bengaluru, scheduled for 7 a. m. on Wednesday. It is not known whether the domestic flight cancellation had anything to do with the disruption in the international sector.

A communication from the airlines company said a section of the cabin crew reported sick at the last minute, starting last night, resulting in flight delays and cancellations. “While we are engaging with the crew to understand the reasons behind these occurrences, our teams are actively addressing this issue to minimise any inconvenience caused to our guests as a result”. It is learnt that a section of the Air India Express employees resorted to a flash strike, catching the airline operator unawares.

The communication added: “We sincerely apologise to our guests for this unexpected disruption and emphasise that this situation does not reflect the standard of service we strive to provide. Guests impacted by cancellations will be offered a full refund or complimentary rescheduling to another date. Guests flying with us today are requested to check if their flight is affected, before heading to the airport.”

Air travel industry sources said that Air India Express is through a transition period and it appeared there are issues still being sorted. There is also a section of the employees, who have expressed discontent about the pay scales, which may be the reason for the unexpected industrial action.

Eom / Mka

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