AI Express-cabin crew conciliation process: Labour dept to seek inputs from DGCA

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) The regional labour commissioner will seek inputs from aviation regulator DGCA in the ongoing conciliation process with respect to the dispute between Air India Express management and a section of the cabin crew members, according to a source.

Tata Group-owned profit-making Air India Express is in the process of merging loss-making AIX Connect, formerly AirAsia India, with itself.

Meanwhile, Air India Express has cancelled over 90 flights since Tuesday night as a section of cabin crew members reported sick to protest against alleged mismanagement at the airline, which said it is working hard to minimise the disruptions.

A union representing a section of the Air India Express cabin crew had filed a complaint before the labour department last year. The union had raised various concerns at the airline, including about room sharing during layovers. The matter is now under the conciliation process as per the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

The source on Wednesday told PTI that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also been made a party to the ongoing conciliation process to seek inputs with respect to various regulations.

The communication on making the DGCA party to the conciliation process was sent out by the regional labour commissioner last week, the source added.

The Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) comes under the Office of the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (C) in the national capital.

Apart from room sharing by the cabin crew members during layovers, curtailment of service contracts of some members and assessment, were among the issues on which the conciliation process is on.

In November 2023, the Air India Express Employees Union (AIXEU) had written to civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on various grievances about the airline’s cabin crew members.

About the concerns of the cabin crew members, Air India Express, in November last year, had said that as part of the ongoing integration between the airline and AIX Connect, the policies and practices across the two entities are being aligned.

“This includes crew members sharing rooms on layovers. This is consistent with the market practice followed by many other airlines in India and the region,” the airline had said.

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