Air India Express crisis: several flights cancelled on second day

Flight cancellations by the Air India Express (AIE) continued to affect passengers on Thursday as well, with the airline cancelling flights to and from the four international airports in Kerala.

The crisis began to unfold on Tuesday night following a lightning strike by AIE staff.

At Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, nine AIE flights, including seven international and two domestic ones, were cancelled on the day. The airline cancelled two flights from Kochi and ten flights from Calicut and Kannur International Airports until Thursday evening.

Strike called off

Though the protesting crew members ended their strike after the airline management agreed to look into their grievances, the flight disruption is expected to continue till May 13 considering the complex network of the airline, especially from Kerala. The AIE operates around 275 services a week from the State. The airline with 73 aircraft conducts 375 services a day from various cities in the country.

The cancellation of flights would have a cascading effect on the network of the airline at least for the next couple of days, said airline sources. Despite the company pressing 20 aircraft of Air India and two of Vistara to minimise the impact of the flight disruption, the airports in Kerala witnessed dramatic scenes on Thursday too, with irate passengers assembling before the airline offices at the airports. Around 20% of the total services of the airline were cancelled on Thursday alone, while the total number of flights cancelled till Thursday night stands at 170 since Tuesday night.

Refund or reschedule

Meanwhile, the airline announced that all passengers can opt for a full refund or reschedule to a later date without any fees on WhatsApp (+91 6360012345) or if their flight is cancelled, or delayed beyond three hours.

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