Taking a tough stance to ensure discipline, Air India has sacked 47 members of its cabin crew and issued show-cause notices to 20 more on grounds of absenteeism.
While all of those sacked are stationed in Mumbai, 17 of those issued the notices for not showing up for three months without any intimation also belong to the western metropolis and the rest from Delhi, senior airline officials said.
However, those issued show-cause notices could re-join duty by June 30 after fulfilling necessary requirements and getting certified for sickness, if any, from Air India doctors, the officials said, adding that such disciplinary action taken on a regular basis has now become a deterrent for a total cabin crew strength of about 3,500.
The decision of AI to crack the whip comes amid reports that several cabin crew members were on the lookout for greener pastures, especially eyeing jobs in Gulf carriers.
The officials said the prevailing work hours for the cabin crew stood at 125 hours per month or 1,000 hours each year, but those being sacked or issued notices have not put in even a single hour of duty in the recent past.
The prevailing manpower strength of the national carrier stands at about 14,000, after a total of 9,000 employees being shifted to Air India’s subsidiaries Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) and Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL) which became operational last year.
By 2017, around 7,000 staffers would retire, leaving the parent company with about 7,000, they said, adding Air India would then have one of the “best aircraft-manpower ratio” with an average age of 45-48 years. The ratio currently is about 240 per aircraft which would come down to around 100.