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Air India Express experienced significant disruptions, with around 90 flights affected by crew members reporting sick in what appears to be a protest against Tata management following the merger of AIX Connect.

The airline, known for operating over 350 daily flights with a capacity for up to 400 flights as per its summer schedule, faced flight cancellations primarily at airports like Kochi, Calicut, and Bangalore due to a shortage of crew.

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The disruptions began Monday evening when numerous cabin crew members reported sick, leading to flight cancellations due to insufficient available Air India Express staff. Some crew members reportedly called in sick as part of a protest against alleged mismanagement under the Tata Group’s ownership.

In response, Air India Express issued a statement acknowledging the situation: “A section of our cabin crew called in sick last minute starting last night, resulting in flight delays and cancellations. We are engaging with the crew to understand the reasons behind these occurrences and are actively working to minimize the inconvenience caused.”

The statement continued with an apology to affected passengers, offering options for full refunds or rescheduling. Passengers were advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

The Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU), representing cabin crew members, sent a letter to Air India Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran detailing employee grievances following the Tata takeover. The letter expressed disappointment over the growing unrest and dissatisfaction, citing concerns about job security, salary maintenance, and respect for seniority and experience.

The union highlighted a perceived gap between promised principles and the reality faced by employees since the acquisition by Tata.

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