Nearly three dozen crew members have been terminated from services for not reporting to work on time

Air India (AI) management and its cabin crew members are heading for confrontation as nearly three dozen crew members have been terminated from services for not reporting to work on time, thus delaying flights.

According to airline officials, these termination letters have been issued in the past 12 days in several phases. Most of these employees used to attend long-haul flights.

Without revealing the exact number of crew members who have been sacked, an Air India spokesperson said: “Any violation of rules and regulations of the company amounts to official action and appropriate action has been initiated against the cabin crew members.”

While AI is actively working to improve its on-time performance, a key parameter of its turnaround plan, and asking crew members to report to work as per Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) guidelines of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), unions are bent upon sticking to their stance of working ‘less’ number of hours as mentioned in their bilateral wage agreements with the management.

As per DGCA guidelines, a crew should be on flight duty for 125 hours a month while the cabin crew association members fly an average of 57 hours as per their agreement with the airline. Now AI wants them to abide by the DGCA rules.

“This has given rise to the problem and confrontation. As advised by the association, some crew members reported late to work to delay flights and faced the consequence. The management is also in no mood to relent and accommodate this time. The cabin crew association is a divided house.

The Shiv Sena and the NCP are fighting for control, and there is nobody one can talk to. This has rendered the members helpless,” said an AI employee.

Calls made to association leaders on their cell phones remained unanswered.

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