There were more than just technical snags which delayed four Air India Mumbai flights last week.
At a meeting with the airline unions on Tuesday, Arvind Jadhav, chairman and managing director, said the technical staff was lackadaisical in solving technical faults in the aircraft, leading to delays.
Three independent sources working with the national carrier told HT that the chairman made the appeal to stop the airline’s recent turbulent phrase that began after the Mangalore crash on May 22 which killed 158 people. “He requested the staff to stop measures that can paralyse flight operations,” said an airline staff requesting anonymity.
The disturbing trend was observed soon after a flash strike by a section of employees comprising engineers, cabin crew and ground staff was called off on May 25.
Employees returned to work after the Delhi High Court termed the strike ‘illegal’ but the subsequent sacking of 58 employees and suspension of 28 others triggered the silent protest. When asked if the airline is investigating the matter, the Air India spokesperson said: “He (Jadhav) told the employees not to resort to these tactics. There is no need for an investigation.”
Four flights were delayed because of technical snags for three consecutive days after the strike ended. A Jeddah-Mumbai flight scheduled to leave in the wee hours of May 25 was delayed for 24 hours because of a technical snag.
A day later, it was diverted to Delhi to ferry passengers stranded by the strike and again a snag delayed the flight by six hours. On May 28, about 400 fliers booked on two separate Air India Express flight to Chennai and Kochi were stranded at the Mumbai airport for four hours because of technical snags.
On the same day, a Calicut-Dubai flight was diverted to the city airport as the pilot suspected a hydraulic failure.