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AI Express cancels 75 flights on Friday, expects normal ops by Sunday: Official

AI Express cancels 75 flights on Friday, expects normal ops by Sunday: Official
Air India Express on Friday cancelled around 75 flights due to cabin crew shortage and operations are expected to normalise by Sunday, an official said, a day after a section of the cabin crew called off their strike, that had resulted in significant operational disruptions. The revenue losses caused due to the flight cancellations and compensation to passengers are anticipated to be around Rs 30 crore, the official told PTI.

The strike by a section of the cabin crew since Tuesday night that resulted in cancellation of more than 170 flights was called off on Thursday evening and the airline also withdrew termination letters issued to 25 striking cabin crew.

The official, on the condition of anonymity, said that around 75 flights have been cancelled for Friday and the number is less than 100 on Thursday.

On Saturday, the number of flight cancellations are expected to be around 45-50, the official added.

The airline, on Thursday afternoon, said it has cancelled 85 flights or around 23 per cent of the total daily capacity.

The Tata Group airline, which operates around 380 flights daily, has curtailed operations in the wake of the strike, as part of efforts to minimise disruptions. Since Tuesday night, the carrier has cancelled more than 260 flights.

On an average, the airline operates 120 international flights and 260 domestic services daily, while there are fewer flights on some days.

Another official said the cabin crew who were on strike are joining back and the airline is extending support to them for medical checkup and securing fitness certificate, which is required before they can resume duty.

The official also said that most international flights are in the evening time and the operations on that front are expected to be better from Friday onwards with availability of more cabin crew.

The officials said operations are being restored in a gradual manner and normalcy is expected by Sunday.

After the strike was called off on Thursday, the airline had said it will help to swiftly restore flight schedule and also apologised to passengers who were impacted by the flight disruptions.

Many cabin crew members had reported sick to protest against alleged mismanagement at the airline and lack of equality in treatment of staff.

Air India Express -- which is in the process of completing the merger of AIX Connect, formerly AirAsia India, with itself -- has around 6,000 employees, including over 2,000 cabin crew.

The carrier has a fleet of 73 planes.

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