Tuesday, Aug 09, 2022
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IndiGo Flights Delayed As Staff Went On Mass Sick Leave

Fifty-five percent of IndiGo's domestic flights were delayed on Saturday as a significant number of cabin crew members took sick leave. 

Indigo Airlines flights delayed due to staff going on mass sick leave
Indigo Airlines flights delayed due to staff going on mass sick leave PTI

IndiGo flyers were in for a tough time on Saturday after a large section of the staff and crew called in sick, causing massive delays to flights. Fifty-five percent of the carrier's domestic flights were delayed on Saturday as a significant number of cabin crew members took sick leave.  But what caused the mass sick leaves? According to reports, members of the staff were absent as they had apparently gone to apply for jobs in Air India

Air India recruitment drive

IndiGo, India's largest airline, currently operates approximately 1,600 flights --domestic and international -- daily. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation's website, 45.2 per cent of IndiGo's domestic flights operated on time on Saturday. In comparison, a majority of the Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara, Go First and AirAsia India flights left on time. The delay was caused due to the sudden absence of a large number of IndiGo employees. 

The phase-2 of Air India's recruitment drive was also conducted on Saturday. According to industry sources, a majority of IndiGo's cabin crew members who took sick leave went for it.  Aviation regulator DGCA head Arun Kumar said that the matter is being probed.

Trouble had been brewing

The incident is further indication of the growing rift between Indigo and its employees. IndiGo had on April 4 suspended a few pilots who were planning to organise a strike on Tuesday to protest against the pay cuts that were implemented during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27, after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year. Air India plans to buy new planes and improve its services, and it recently started a recruitment drive for fresh cabin crew members. 

 During the peak of the pandemic, Indigo had slashed the salaries of its pilots by as much as 30 per cent.

On April 1 this year, the airline announced its decision to increase the salaries of pilots by 8 per cent. It said that another hike of 6.5 per cent will be implemented from November onwards in case there are no disruptions. However, a section of pilots remained unsatisfied and decided to organise a strike. 

IndiGo CEO Ronjoy Dutta had on April 8 told employees through an email that raising salaries is a difficult and thorny issue but the airline will constantly review and adjust wages based on its profitability and the competitive environment.

(With inputs from PTI)

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