Air India Express services to be affected in the coming days as well: Details of cancelled flights

Air India Express cancelled more than 100 flights since Tuesday night due to the strike and it has impacted around 15,000 passengers. Photo: Special Arrangement

Following the cabin crew strike which started on Tuesday evening, more Air India Express services are cancelled today and in the coming days. Around 74 services were cancelled on Thursday. The airline has also sacked the employees who went on a strike, citing that their actions caused inconvenience to passengers. The services cancelled from Kerala airports today are the Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Dammam flights from Kannur; Muscat, Bengaluru, Hyderabad flights from Thiruvananthapuram; Evening flights to Kolkata and Muscat from Kochi; and Al Ain, Jedha and Doha flights from Karipur. Several Air India Express flights from UAE are also cancelled today. Flights to Kannur, Mangaluru, Tiruchirappalli and Amritsar from Dubai, the Sharjah - Kannur flight and the Al Ain - Kozhikode flight are some of them.

Friday's Ras Al Khaimah - Kannur flight, Saturday's Ras Al Khaimah - Kozhikode flight and Abu Dhabi - Kannur flight, Monday's Sharjah - Kannur, Abu Dhabi - Kannur and Dubai - Kozhikode flights are some of the cancelled services. Air India Express cancelled more than 100 flights since Tuesday night due to the strike and it has impacted around 15,000 passengers. The carrier has decided to curtail flights till May 13. Air India Express is to operate around 360 flights daily to domestic and international destinations, sources said on Wednesday. The civil aviation ministry on Wednesday sought a report from Air India Express on the flight cancellations and also asked the airline to resolve the issues promptly.

Apart from cancellations, scores of flights were delayed and the airline's passengers, mostly scheduled to travel to the Gulf nations, protested at airports in Kerala against flight cancellations as many of them were informed only after the security checks. Flight disruptions happened at various airports, including Kochi, Calicut, Delhi and Bengaluru. Domestic as well as international services, including to various Gulf countries, have also been hit. At Delhi airport alone, 14 flights of the carrier were cancelled from 4 am to 4 pm on Wednesday. 

To tackle the situation, one of the sources said Air India Express will be tapping the synergies with other Tata Group airlines -- Air India and Vistara. An Air India Express spokesperson said the airline is engaging with the cabin crew members to understand the reasons for reporting sick and also apologised for the flight disruptions.

Passengers frustrated
Travelers at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kannur airports faced disappointment when flights to Gulf nations were called off at the last minute for the second consecutive day. This sudden cancellation has sparked frustration and caused inconvenience among passengers who relied on the airline's assurance for their travel plans. "I was assured by Air India Express yesterday that I can travel to Qatar on Thursday. But they did not keep their promise. I was told at the last moment that my flight has been cancelled again for the second consecutive day," an aggrieved passenger at Karipur airport in Kozhikode told reporters. 

Another passenger, who claimed his work visa would expire today, told a TV channel at Thiruvananthapuram airport that when his flight to the Gulf region was cancelled yesterday, he was given a ticket for today. "When I arrived here (Thiruvananthapuram airport), the airline told me that the flight was cancelled. If I do not reach my place of work by tonight, my visa will expire and I will lose my job," he said. 

Another passenger at the Thiruvananthapuram airport said that AI Express asked him to take a ticket on another airline, but he was unable to do so. "Why can't they help us get tickets on another airline? Let them charge us for that," he said. Air India Express has also cancelled at least 60 flights for Thursday due to the non-availability of cabin crew, the sources said and added that mass leaves by a section of the cabin crew has caused immense inconvenience to passengers. (With inputs from PTI)

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