An Indian airline was forced to delay hundreds of flights on Saturday and insiders claim the reason behind the disruption was because cabin crew pulled sickies so that they could attend a massive recruitment event being held by a rival airline.
Low-cost Indian airline IndiGo operated just 45 per cent of its domestic flights on time on Saturday after the alleged mass sickout wreaked havoc with the carrier’s schedule.
The cabin crew are believed to have attended a recruitment event held by Air India which is in the middle of a massive hiring blitz. India’s Directorate of Civil Aviation has said it will open an investigation to get to the bottom of the allegations.
Local media outlets report that Air India was running the second phase of a huge flight attendant recruitment drive on Saturday. The flag carrier has recently been saved from bankruptcy by the Tata Group conglomerate and billion of rupees are being pumped into the airline as part of a long-overdue turnaround project.
The Tata Group is said to be in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for a massive order of single-aisle aircraft totalling as many as 300 new jets. The airline is also rumoured to be nearing a deal with Airbus for 20 state-of-the-art A350 widebody aircraft.
With plans afoot to significantly increase its fleet size, Air India is on the hunt for new cabin crew. Despite plans to make Air India far more efficient, cabin crew at the airline are still on good wages compared to many of their industry peers.
IndiGo has declined to comment on the allegations.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.