Is IndiGo staring at an exodus of its staff to Air India? That is the question that is making the rounds in the aviation sector, as the low-cost budget carrier had to cancel as many as 50 flights on Saturday while over 50% of its flights were delayed as cabin crew did not turn up for duty on a day when Air India was conducting walk-in interviews for jobs.
Insiders said that the cabin crew actually went for job interviews that Air India was conducting but reported sick at the last moment, throwing the airline’s operations into complete chaos. Crew members are allowed to report sick till five hours before the departure of a flight.
Delayed passengers took to social media to express their anger as many of them missed their connecting flight or train.
Air India is currently in the midst of a massive recruitment drive after the Tata Group has taken over the airline from the government.
Air India is seen to be providing better opportunities as it has a large full-service fleet and also flies to more overseas destinations, especially Europe and America.
Air India’s recruitment drive took place in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata, the country’s biggest flying hubs.
The IndiGo management is reported to have raised the issue with Air India and asked the airline not to recruit crew without a ‘no-objection certificate’ or relieving letter from the current employer.
DGCA rules mandate that cabin crew have to give a notice period of at least three months. However, it may be reduced with the employer’s consent.
Being a cabin crew member is a specialised job and regulations stipulate a training of 30 days or 240 hours for fresh hires before they can be inducted for duty. The training is for communication, handling medical emergencies, and security.