Akasa Air to temporarily give up market share amid mass pilot resignation

Akasa Air Boeing 737 MAX 8
Akasa Air

Budget Indian carrier Akasa Air will have to fly fewer routes and temporarily give up its market share, CEO Vinay Dube told employees via email on September 19, 2023.

The carrier is still reeling from the resignation of 43 pilots who left without serving a six-month notice period. 

Since the pilots did not serve their mandatory notice period of 6 months (for first officers) or one year (for captains), Akasa Air was forced to cancel scores of flights each day, according to a Business Standard report. The pilots have reportedly joined Akasa’s rival airlines.

“When a small set of pilots abandoned their duties and left without serving their mandatory contractual notice period, it forced a disruption of flights between July and September, necessitating last minute cancellations,” Dube said in the email seen by Reuters.

According to Dube, the airline has been forced to cancel more than 20 flights per day, totalling over 700 canceled flights for the month of September 2023 if the resignations continue.

The budget carrier is taking legal action against the 43 pilots who resigned and is seeking damages worth $2.9 million (Rs 22 crore), citing reputational damage and financial losses.

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