IndiGo, India’s largest domestic carrier found itself caught on a sticky wicket a couple of days ago. The airline operates about 1600 flights daily (including domestic and international operations) had a total meltdown of its operations as a large swath of its cabin crew members reported sick on July 2, 2022. Things were so bad, that IndiGo only saw 45% or so of their flights operate on time. Here is an extract from the Ministry of Civil Aviation website about operations on July 2, 2022, for IndiGo and other airlines.
It was reported that IndiGo had the flights ready with the cockpit crew prepared for departure, however, the cabin crew called in sick en-masse. As per the rules, the cabin crew can call in sick about 4-5 hours before reporting time if they are not feeling very well.
Some smart-alec came up with the narrative that IndiGo’s cabin crew were interviewing for Air India’s recruitment drive for cabin crew. This narrative made it to the major news channels of India, however, this was not correct. Air India was only running an interview for pre-screened cabin crew members, and that too in Mumbai, on July 1, 2022. Here is the recruitment advertisement that was put out a few days ago.
Clearly, the IndiGo crew were not at Air India looking for a job. Air India has vehemently denied such a move as well. In this case, the only thing that looks possible is that there was some sort of an organised move by the IndiGo cabin crew to not turn up to work on July 2, which the management did not know about or could get ahead of.
The knock-off effect of displaced crew obviously continued to haunt IndiGo the day after as well, as crew scheduled for various flights would have not been available as per the roster. As a consequence, on July 3, IndiGo had not fully recovered from the events of the prior day and had an on-time performance of only 72%.
IndiGo has, so far, not issued any official statement on the reason that so many flights got delayed. This also caught the notice of the Indian aviation regulator, DGCA, which asked IndiGo to explain the reasons for these delays which impacted about 900 of its flights in one day.
IndiGo saw its operations being impacted on July 2-3, 2022 due to cabin crew reporting sick on July 2, 2022. While this was earlier linked to Air India’s recruitment of cabin crew, that is not the case. What exactly happened is not known yet, and IndiGo’s official stance is awaited. In the meantime, IndiGo saw about 55% of its flights operating delayed on July 2 (about 900 flights), and 28% of flights delayed on July 3, 2022.
What do you make of the delays that happened at IndiGo a couple of days ago?
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