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Mumbai: Air India Express faces continued disruptions despite resolution attempts

Updated on: 24 May,2024 06:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prasun Choudhari |

Data loss, rostering issues reported after software update

Mumbai: Air India Express faces continued disruptions despite resolution attempts

Air India Express union seeks intervention as flight cancellations persist. File pic

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Mumbai: Air India Express faces continued disruptions despite resolution attempts

The Air India Express Union wrote a second letter to the central labour commissioner requesting his intervention in its ongoing operational crisis.

The ongoing development comes nearly two weeks after the airline witnessed disruptions due to a section of cabin crew reporting sick amid a protest against alleged mismanagement by the carrier. The strike was called off on May 9 after the meeting with Delhi's labour commissioner and the crew members who were on strike joined back duty on May 10.

A letter written by K K Vijayakumar, who is the AIX employees union president, addressed to the central labour commissioner, Onkar Sharma, reads, “As per the conclusion of the conciliation, all cabin crew reported back for flying duties by May 10, 2024. However, it is shocking and surprising to note that many flights are still being cancelled over delays, citing crew constraints.”

“Upon inquiry, it has come to our notice that the operations department lost cabin crew data due to the transition from old software ARMS to the new (CAE) app managed by the scheduling department. The concerned department has asked the crew to submit their details for updating the data in the new system ie, CAE,” the letter read.

It further read that additionally, more than 100 cabin crew members have been sitting idle, without flying duties for the last two months due to the non-availability of airport entry passes. “And to cover up daily flight cancellations and delays, cabin crew are manually assisting the scheduling department base-wise. The cabin crew are doing their utmost to restore and operate flights on time for public convenience. Furthermore, the reduced number of departures is adversely affecting the cabin crew's salaries.”

Airline staffers aware of the matter told mid-day, “After the Delhi labour commissioner intervened, followed by a meeting between him, management and the protesting staffers, the protest was called off as we were given assurances, including the withdrawal of 25 crew members who were earlier suspended. Even now, we are witnessing several issues related to the rostering system.”

Another AIX staffer, on condition of anonymity, said, “We called off our protest on May 9 and everyone joined the very next day. But soon after we joined, the airline came up with a new application for the rostering system. Now, we are using this new app called CEA app but the problem is that the airline has lost all the previous data which was there in the previous app.”

The staffer further added, “Now, the crew members themselves (from the respective bases) are helping each other by letting the people know who all are available. The management hasn't been able to solve this issue yet. They are even calling crew members who are not even at the bases. Similarly, people who have just done a flight, they're rostering another flight for them asthe management itself is unaware regarding who all are available.”

Another staffer said, “Often crew members don't even have the airport entry pass which has to be arranged by the airline. Such incidents are leading to cancellations and delays and as far as I know, more than 350 flights have been cancelled between May 10-20 because of this.”

An AIX official, on condition of anonymity, said that the cancellations going on are a ripple effect of cancellations last month. “No inconvenience to passengers because they are being informed in advance, and this is happening mostly on domestic routes.” A request by this reporter was sent to AIX, which was acknowledged by the spokesperson of the airline but the airline did not comment on the matter till the time of going to press.

May 9
The day the strike was called off 

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