After Days Of Disruption, Air India Express Strike Ends; Operations To Resume As Cabin Crew Return

Grievances centered on merger-related issues are being addressed.

by Mallika Khurana
After Days Of Disruption, Air India Express Strike Ends; Operations To Resume As Cabin Crew Return

After days of turbulence caused by a strike among a section of cabin crew members, Air India Express is finally seeing signs of stability. The protest, stemming from grievances over alleged mismanagement within the airline, led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights. However, the clouds of uncertainty are starting to clear. As of May 12, an official statement indicates that Air India Express is gradually resuming its flight operations and regaining control over its network. 

Air India Express Turbulence Settles

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Despite the recent disruptions, the cabin crew union asserts that all members who had called in sick during the protest have returned to their duties, aiming to restore normalcy. The strike, which began on Tuesday night, sent shockwaves through the airline, prompting management to take action. 

Following a conciliation meeting facilitated by the chief labour commissioner in the capital city, termination letters issued to 25 cabin crew members were retracted. It signalled a step towards reconciliation. The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) recently issued a press release. News 18 reports emphasised that all cabin crew members who had reported sick had resumed their duties by May 11, 2024. Despite this, a lingering issue persists with the company’s scheduling software, falsely indicating ongoing sick reports due to recent glitches.

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Cabin Crew Return As Protest Ends

cabin crew union
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The root cause of the protest lies in the discontent among cabin crew members regarding the merger of Air India Express with other entities under the Tata Group umbrella. The AIXEU represents around 300 cabin crew members. According to The Economic Times, they voiced concerns over alleged mismanagement and disparities in treatment resulting from the merger.

In an April letter addressed to Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran, the AIXEU outlined various grievances, including the removal of allowances like HRA, leading to significant salary cuts, despite the airline’s profitability. Additionally, concerns were raised about the perceived inequality in job opportunities, with internal positions being filled by external candidates.

However, as the protest winds down, operations gradually return to normal. There is hope for a resolution to the underlying issues.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons