Air India Express flights from Kochi, Kannur cancelled due to employees' strike

Photo: Screengrab/Manorama News

Kochi: Hundreds of passengers were left stranded after the Air India Express cancelled  its flights from Kochi and Kannur on Wednesday due to a lightning strike by its employees. While three flights from Kannur were cancelled, four services from Kochi airport were called off. According to reports, flights from multiple airports across India incuding Thiruvananthapuram were also cancelled. Many passengers have taken to social media platform X to register their protest against the air carrier.

Though Air India Express said that the flights were cancelled due to operational issues, reports suggest a lightning strike by its employees led to the cancellation. The services cancelled from Kochi include the flights which were to take off from Kochi at 2.05 am, 8 am, 8.35am and 8.55am from Sharjah, Muscat, Damam and Muscat respectively. Flights to Kochi airport from Sharjah, Muscat and Bahrain were also cancelled. In Kannur, flights to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Muscat were cancelled. 

"Most of the passengers on the Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai flight scheduled for yesterday night were informed of the cancellation only after checking-in.  The authorities first told us that the flight was delayed. Then they cancelled it without any warning. The passengers picketed the boarding gate following the cancellation of the 10.40 pm flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai," a passenger informed Manorama News.

The stranded passengers include women, children and elderly. Many of the passengers who were travelling to the Middle East to renew their work visas where also in a fix due to the unexpected cancellation. Though food and water was supplied to the passengers in some airports, several of them refused to accept it as a mark of protest,

The authorities have not arranged any alternative transport for the passengers yet.  Though they have assured a refund for passengers, the portal for availing the facility is currently not operational.

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