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Air India officials denied holding talks on Saturday, but there may be a different reason behind the postponement of a large number of IndiGo flights over the weekend, industry insiders say

More than half of IndiGo flights were delayed on Saturday after a large number of crews called in sick. As a result, around 55% of total flights operated by the country’s largest airline were affected on July 2, according to data from the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The delays came after many of IndiGo’s crew members reportedly took time off from work to attend walk-in interviews conducted by Air India for similar roles, sources had said earlier. Business today.

The rush to get a job with the national airline had apparently resulted in the postponement of more than 900 IndiGo flights by the end of the day, it was claimed. The low-cost carrier (LCC) operates 1,600 flights daily.

However, late on Sunday evening, Air India officials specifically denied that his recruitment exercise had anything to do with the large-scale rescheduling seen at the airline.

“We conducted interviews with cabin crew in Mumbai on Thursday and Friday. But to insinuate that they played a role in IndiGo’s alleged mass furlough on Saturday is premature and wrong,” the officials told BT.

They further clarified that there were no plans to poach staff from competing airlines, as some reports seem to have suggested.

Operations were also affected on Sunday.

Although IndiGo’s on-time performance (OTP) of 71.8% was relatively better on Sunday, it was lower than Go First (97.0%), AirAsia India (95.6%), Vistara (93.3 %) and SpiceJet (90.1%). hundred). This showed that normal operations continued to be affected for a second day.

Arun Kumar, head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator, told BT they had sought clarification from the airline. “We are looking into the matter and will only be able to confirm anything after we have more details,” he assumed.

Messages sent to IndiGo for comment on the issue went unanswered.

Lately, there have been rumblings of staff discontent at IndiGo, which is one of the most successful airlines to emerge from the country after the low-cost boom of the mid-2000s. aviation industry attributed the weekend delays to early signs of industrial action at the carrier.

Independent investigations have revealed that IndiGo’s in-flight crew from several major centers including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad indeed skipped work on Saturday, causing widespread disruption.

BT is following the story closely and will file a new report once new details emerge.