Akasa Air, one of India’s newest airlines, found itself in a tough spot as it made a startling revelation before the Delhi High Court.
The airline revealed that it is on the brink of canceling 600-700 flights in September. This crisis has been triggered by the abrupt resignation of 43 pilots, who failed to serve their notice periods.
Akasa Air, just 13 months old, has been grappling with an unprecedented state of emergency, forcing them to ground their aircraft and disrupt the travel plans of countless passengers.
In response, the airline has firmly taken a legal stance, seeking necessary measures against the pilots who made the abrupt exit and claiming approximately Rs 22 crore in compensation to offset the substantial revenue losses incurred due to the flurry of flight cancellations.
It’s worth noting that Akasa Air’s reputation has taken a considerable hit, with angry passengers inundating the airline with their complaints. The struggling carrier has also pointed fingers at Air India Express, accusing them of enticing their pilots away. Interestingly, several former Akasa pilots have supported these claims by stating that they prefer Air India Express, largely because of the latter’s Boeing 737 aircraft fleet.
The mass departure of pilots represents a significant setback for Akasa, given the inherent difficulty in finding Boeing 737 pilots in India compared to their Airbus A320 counterparts. The airline’s struggle to secure an adequate workforce looms ominously over its financial stability, threatening the realization of its ambitious expansion plans. Additionally, Akasa must earnestly address the grievances of its remaining pilots, particularly regarding changes in compensation, to restore harmony within its ranks.
Adding to the intrigue, some of the departing Akasa pilots have voiced concerns that the airline breached contractual agreements by altering their salary structure. This unforeseen departure of talent is sending ripples of concern through Akasa Air, which recently celebrated the induction of its 20th aircraft and its newfound eligibility to operate international routes.