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Air India Express row: Passengers rally against job loss threat amid Air India Express flight cancellations

Passengers bound for Gulf nations from Kerala asserted that they received notifications of the flight cancellations while awaiting boarding.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 08th 2024 12:14 PM -- Updated: May 08th 2024 02:08 PM
Air India Express row: Passengers rally against job loss threat amid Air India Express flight cancellations

Air India Express row: Passengers rally against job loss threat amid Air India Express flight cancellations

PTC News Desk: In a tumultuous turn of events, Air India Express has sparked outrage among travellers, particularly those bound for Gulf nations, as over 86 flights were abruptly cancelled due to a wave of 'mass sick leave' taken by more than 300 cabin crew members.

Videos circulating on social media depict scenes of frustration and anger at Delhi, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram airports, where disgruntled passengers engaged in heated confrontations with airport staff upon learning of the sudden cancellations.


Travellers in Kerala, preparing to depart for the Gulf, lamented receiving cancellation notices while awaiting boarding, amplifying their distress. While Air India Express has offered options for full refunds or flight rescheduling, many passengers, facing imminent job loss due to expiring work visas, demand immediate refunds and same-day rescheduling to salvage their employment prospects.

One distressed passenger expressed, "What would be the point in me travelling on May 10? If I do not reach there before May 9, my boss will say not to come and I will lose my job," underscoring the high stakes involved.

Adding to the turmoil, passengers criticised the lack of accommodation provided by the airline, forcing them into overnight stays at the airport until their rescheduled flights depart.

In a startling scene at Delhi airport, a video captured irate passengers besieging the Air India Express counter, vociferously airing their grievances to ground officials.

Air India Express, attributing the flight cancellations to a sudden surge of sick reports from cabin crew, acknowledged the disruptive impact on both international and domestic operations.

Sources suggest the sick leave may be linked to discontent over new terms of employment and compensation following the airline's merger with Tata Group, prompting management efforts to engage with the protesting crew.

In a statement, an Air India Express spokesperson remarked, "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."

Also Read: 'Mass sick leave' by staff leads to cancellation of 86 Air India Express flights: Report

- With inputs from agencies

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