Air India Express Flights Grounded by Crew's Sudden Illness

Air India Express, a budget carrier owned by the Tata Group, faced significant disruptions this week as a large number of cabin crew members called in sick at the last minute.  This sudden surge in crew illness resulted in the cancellation of over 90 flights, impacting both international and domestic routes. The chaos began on Tuesday night when roughly 300 senior cabin crew members reported being unwell, throwing flight schedules into disarray.  These reports were further complicated by crew members being unreachable, with many switching off their phones.


Air India Express scrambled to manage the situation. They acknowledged the disruptions caused by the crew calling in sick and expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to passengers. The airline offered a full refund or the option to reschedule flights for a later date to impacted travelers. While the airline hasn't publicly commented on the cause of the mass illness, speculation centers around discontent among the cabin crew.  Some reports suggest dissatisfaction with a new performance-linked incentive program implemented by the airline.  This potential labor dispute adds another layer of complexity to the situation.


The incident comes at a particularly inopportune time for Air India Express, coinciding with the busy summer travel season.  The airline, already in the process of merging with AirAsia India, was aiming to operate a significantly expanded flight schedule. The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has taken notice of the disruptions and has requested a report from Air India Express.  


The ministry has also urged the airline to prioritize passenger welfare and ensure they receive the proper assistance during this challenging time. The coming days will be crucial for Air India Express.  They will need to address the crew's concerns effectively while working to minimize further disruptions for passengers.

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