Air India cabin crew personnel refusing to work for the past two days resumed duty on Wednesday after the airline management released layover allowance for August 2010.
Until Tuesday, 269 flight attendants had refused to work because the allowance paid in foreign currency during layover at foreign cities had been pending for five months.
“The crew has resumed work but we have asked the management to clear the backlog soon to avoid a similar problem next month,” said a member from the All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA), the airline’s cabin crew union requesting anonymity.
The two-day stir delayed at least seven international flights between Tuesday night and the wee hours of Wednesday. For instance, a Mumbai-Newark flight scheduled to take-off at 2:45 am on Wednesday finally took off at 5:30 am because the set of flight attendants supposed to operate the flight was not available. Airports sources said cabin crew officials of management cadre had to operate the flight.
Similarly, flights to Jeddah, Chicago and New York were also delayed by about two hours. The crisis had triggered concern among international fliers booked to travel in Air India flights because some flights were likely to see last minute cancellations. The airline operates 23 international flights daily – the highest by any Indian carrier.
Airline sources said funds were released after the finance ministry slammed the airline for the crisis.
An AI spokesperson said the management was doing its best to clear the backlog. “We are trying to clear pending dues at the earliest,” he said.