Air India Express canceled over 90 flights starting Tuesday evening after about 300 cabin crew members called in sick and turned off their phones. The airline, owned by the Tata Group, faced disruptions on both international and domestic routes. 

The incident occurred as the crew expressed dissatisfaction with their job conditions following a merger.

Air India Express Cancels Flights as Crew Protest Conditions

Air India Express Grounds Over 90 Flights as Cabin Crew Call in Sick

(Photo : Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay)

Sources inside the company revealed that the cabin crew are unhappy with changes made post-merger. These changes include demotions despite successful interviews, alterations to their compensation, and restrictions on voicing concerns. 

Management is reportedly trying to reach the affected crew to address these issues and ease tensions.

According to Travel and Tour World, an official from Air India Express confirmed the sudden illness reports from the crew led to numerous flight delays and cancellations. 

The airline is actively working to manage the situation and minimize inconvenience to passengers. Those whose flights were canceled have been offered a full refund or the option to reschedule.

The cancellations have caused significant frustration among travelers, many of whom learned about the disruptions only upon arriving at the airport. In response, Air India Express has issued apologies and assured passengers that they are addressing the operational challenges as swiftly as possible.

This disruption comes at a sensitive time for Air India Express, which is merging with AIX Connect, formerly known as AirAsia India. The integration process has been complicated by the cabin crew's grievances, reflecting broader challenges concerning mergers and employee satisfaction in the aviation industry.

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Air India Express Receives Backlash Amid Cancellation Issues

Air India Express flights were abruptly canceled after a sudden strike by the cabin crew, leaving many passengers in a bind. 

According to the airline, owned by the Tata Group, those affected by the cancellations will receive a full refund or can reschedule their flights for free. Although a refund link has been sent to passengers, some have reported difficulties accessing it. 

The airline has advised that the link should be functional soon and directed passengers to the 'Manage Booking' section on its website for immediate assistance.

On the social media platform X, Air India Express encouraged passengers to either reschedule their flights within the next seven days or opt for a full refund through their chatbot, Tia. Despite these options, several passengers reported issues with both the chatbot and phone support. 

In response, the airline has asked for passengers' PNR numbers to provide further help.

On Manorama revealed that many passengers expressed that refunds alone would not solve their urgent travel needs. Some travelers voiced concerns about losing their jobs or facing visa expiration if they did not reach their destinations promptly. 

For example, one woman needed to return to her job in Sharjah by May 9, but the only available flight was on May 10, which would be too late. No accommodation or alternative arrangements were provided by Air India Express, adding to the travelers' frustrations.

This cancellation wave comes as discontent among the airline's cabin crew has grown, particularly following the merger process with AIX Connect, formerly known as AirAsia India. 

Air India Express has apologized for the inconvenience and is actively working to resolve the situation, ensuring such disruptions do not reflect their usual standard of service.

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