Air India Express cancels 70 flights as crew members go on mass ‘sick leave’

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New Delhi: In a major flight disruption, more than 70 international and domestic flights of Air India Express on Wednesday were cancelled or delayed due to senior crew members calling in sick. The situation has raised concerns within the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which is closely monitoring the developments.

Air India Express faced major disruptions in its flight operations on Wednesday, approximately 70 flights, mostly international bound, were cancelled or delayed due to senior crew members calling in sick. The situation has raised concerns within the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which is closely monitoring the developments.

According to sources within the ministry, the cancellations and delays began on Tuesday night and persisted into Wednesday morning, forcing the airline to curtail its scheduled operations. The sudden shortage of crew members led to flights being grounded, affecting both domestic and international routes. Civil Aviation authorities are looking into the issue.

The sources said that some senior crew members switched off their mobile phones just before flight operations, citing health issues. With no alternate staff available, the flights had to be cancelled. Air India Express issued a statement addressing the situation and apologizing to affected passengers.

Air India Express spokesperson said, “A section of our cabin crew has 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 minimize any inconvenience caused to our guests as a result.”

The spokesperson added, “We sincerely apologize to our guests for this unexpected disruption and emphasize 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.”

The sudden sick leave by senior crew members has highlighted operational challenges faced by the airline industry. This incident comes shortly after Vistara encountered similar issues on April 1, when more than 100 flights were severely affected due to pilots calling in sick.

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