Incidentally, Tata Group Air India and AI Express have been conducting walk-in interviews for hiring cabin crew these days. Industry insiders say a sizeable percentage of IndiGo cabin crew no shows this weekend may have been due to them going for the AI walk-ins.
Source: Aviation ministry website
Comments from IndiGo have been sought and are awaited.
DGCA data shows IndiGo accounted for nearly 58 of every 100 domestic flyers last month. On July 2, almost 3.3 lakh people flew within the country. Using the same ratio, nearly 1.9 lakh people were to have flown IndiGo domestic on Saturday. A very rough estimation shows that just less than 1,000 flights could have been delayed on Saturday, affecting well over a lakh flyers — both domestic and international.
In the past few months, crew discontent has been brewing amid IndiGo over continued pandemic-time pay cuts. It started with pilots planning mass leaves and IndiGo suspending some of them this April violating “terms of employment and company’s code of conduct.” Now the discontent seems to have spread to the cabin crew. The Tata Group and startup Akasa are hiring majorly, giving options to unhappy airline employees that did not exist earlier.
To be sure, the post-Omicron revival in domestic traffic has been sharply hit by surging fuel prices that forced airlines to raise airfares.
On July 2, 2022, several IndiGo flights were delayed waiting for cabin crew. Ministry data shows that 2,591 domestic and 456 international flights operated on Saturday. The on-time performance of different airlines Saturday was: AirAsia India at 98.3%, GoFirst at 88%, Vistara at 86.3%, SpiceJet at 80.4% and Air India at 77.1%. IndiGo was at the bottom at 45.2%, possibly its worst ever figures.
“A large number of cabin crew members were on leave. This almost mass leave saw OTP plunging,” said sources.