With a shortage of cabin crew forcing airlines to cancel flights at the last minute, the aviation regulator has proposed a minimum notice period of three months for employees to switch jobs.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has noted in a draft note that cabin crew were resigning without providing any notice to airlines, which results in last-minute flight cancellations.
“Sometimes such abrupt action on the part of the cabin crew is in the form of a concerted move, which is tantamount to holding the airline to ransom and leaving the travelling public stranded. This is a highly undesirable practice and goes against the public interest,” said the draft note from DGCA chief Arun Mishra.
Indian airlines are facing stiff competition from foreign carriers, especially airlines from West Asia, which have been hiring heavily from India. “Gulf carriers offer not only better salaries but the added charm of flying on foreign routes,” said an aviation analyst.
It takes about three to four months to train a cabin crew member before he or she is released for flying duties, the DGCA noted.
“Cabin crew are adequately paid for the responsibility they share with the airlines towards the travelling public and are required to act with extreme responsibility. It has been decided by the government that any act on the part of cabin crew including resignation from the airlines without a minimum notice period of three months, which may result in last minute cancellation of flights and harassment to passengers, would be treated as an act against the public interest,” the note said.