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Air India Express Sacks Crew Members Over Mass Sick Leave

New Delhi: Air India Express, owned by the Tata Group, has taken action against crew members who participated in a mass “sick leave” protest on Wednesday. The protest, which was in response to the merger of the low-cost domestic service with AirAsia India, led to the cancellation of at least 86 flights and operational disruptions.

Several crew members were terminated, with termination letters citing a “pre-meditated and concerted abstention from work without any justifiable reason.” The letters, issued late on Wednesday, highlighted the disruption caused to the airline’s schedule and the inconvenience caused to passengers.

According to the termination letters, crew members reported sick at the last moment, leading to flight cancellations and delays. The airline deemed this action a violation of employment contracts and a subversion of public interest.

The termination comes amid ongoing discussions between the airline and its crew to address the reasons behind the protest. Air India Express CEO Aloke Singh emphasized that the protest was not representative of the majority of the cabin crew, who continue to serve with dedication.

The protest echoes a similar incident at Vistara, where flight cancellations occurred due to crew unavailability, resulting in operational challenges for the airline.

Air India Express operates extensively across domestic and international routes, with a large fleet and a significant workforce. The airline has offered refunds and rescheduling options to passengers affected by the disruptions.

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