Air India Express’s Major Action: Abruptly Sacks 25 Crew Members, Several Airline Flights Canceled Today

In a sudden turn of events, Air India Express, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, has laid off 25 crew members. Employees who were abruptly removed from their positions late on the night of May 7 resulted in the airline having to cancel more than 90 flights.

Out of over 200 senior crew members laid off, 25 were relieved of their duties. The remaining employees have been instructed to return to work by 4 PM today; failure to do so will result in termination.

CEO Aloke Singh stated that many flights may need to be canceled in the coming days. The company will also adjust its flight schedules accordingly.

200 senior crew members were simultaneously placed on leave due to illness on Tuesday, leading to the cancellation of more than 90 flights on Tuesday night and Wednesday. The reason cited for their leave was illness.

Mass Leave Due to Non-Cooperation

According to reports from news agency PTI, cabin crew members are protesting against non-cooperation. 

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation sought a report from the airline regarding this matter. The Ministry has instructed the airline to swiftly address this issue.

Labor Commissioner Affirms Valid Complaint, HR Department Attempted Unfair Practices

Nearly a week after the dispute between employees and management at Air India Express escalated, the regional labor commissioner wrote a letter to the airline, stating that the complaints are valid. 

It was reported that the HR department had attempted to coerce the grievance redressal officer unfairly.

Airlines Assure Full Refunds to Passengers

Following flight cancellations, a spokesperson for Air India Express stated that our cabin crew reported sudden illnesses on Tuesday night, resulting in several flights being delayed and some being canceled. We are in communication with the crew members involved, which may inconvenience passengers.

The airline assured that passengers affected by the flight cancellations will receive full refunds or have their flights rescheduled without any additional charges. 

Furthermore, the spokesperson advised passengers traveling with the airline on Wednesday to contact them before heading to the airport to confirm their flights.

Dispute Arises Between Management and Employees

According to reports from news agency PTI, several cabin crew members have been protesting against unfair treatment and discriminatory practices by the staff. It is reported that dissatisfaction among the cabin crew has increased since the merger process with AIX Connect commenced.

In December 2022, Tata Sons had acquired the entire share of AirAsia India. Subsequently, before the merger with Air India Express, the airline’s name was changed to AIX Connect. The AirAsia India brand ceased operations on October 31, 2023, and the airline is now managing flights for Air India Express.

To strengthen its airline business and expand its reach, the Tata Group is currently merging Air India Express and AIX Connect with Air India.

Equalizing salaries and integrating diverse organizational cultures poses the most significant challenge for the company.

Evolution in Airline’s Identity

Following Air India, the Tata Group has now unveiled the new look of its budget airline, Air India Express. The design of the aircraft’s tail section is inspired by the parent company Air India and the bond pattern. This transformation is part of the company’s transformation program.

The unveiling of the new aircraft for Air India Express took place at Mumbai Airport. The aircraft features the use of Express Orange and Express Peacock colors. Additionally, secondary colors such as Tangerine and Ice Blue are used in the aircraft.

Air India Express' brand new and first B737 Max aircraft at the hangar in Mumbai.

Preparation to Acquire Over 50 Aircraft in 15 Months

The airline is gearing up to include 50 aircraft in its fleet within the next 15 months. This expansion will significantly boost its fleet size. Over the next 5 years, the aim is to incorporate approximately 170 narrow-body aircraft into the fleet.

Tata Group’s Expansion Led to 110 Flight Cancellations

During the expansion of another airline under the Tata Group, 110 flights were canceled in a month, while over 160 flights were rescheduled. Company spokespersons stated that the situation is due to pilot shortages. 

In such circumstances, decisions have been made to reduce flights. Only limited flights will operate until the pilot shortage is resolved. Passengers affected by canceled flights will also receive refunds.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.