Akasa Air’s Turbulent Times: 43 Pilot Resignations Threaten Operations and Flight Cancellations

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In a challenging turn of events, Akasa Air, a relatively new entrant in the aviation industry, faces a severe crisis that could potentially force it to suspend its operations. The airline has been grappling with the abrupt resignation of 43 of its pilots, resulting in the cancellation of a substantial number of flights, currently standing at 24 flights per day in September.

According to reliable sources reported by Business Standard, the pilots’ departures have left Akasa Air with no choice but to cancel numerous flights daily. This predicament arose because the pilots did not adhere to the mandatory notice period of 6 months for first officers and 1 year for captains, as stipulated by the airline’s policies. In light of these developments, Akasa Air has raised its concerns in Delhi High Court, seeking a resolution.

Interestingly, reports suggest that the resigned pilots have found employment with rival airlines, intensifying Akasa Air’s predicament. The airline’s top executive has expressed reservations about this exodus and characterized it as an unethical move in a written communication to a rival group.

As things stand, Akasa Air, which ordinarily operates 120 flights per day, anticipates the possibility of canceling a staggering 600-700 flights in the current month alone if the resignations persist. August had already seen the airline canceling 700 flights, further compounding its challenges. Consequently, Akasa Air has approached the court, urging the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to enforce the mandatory notice period regulations rigorously.

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Furthermore, the airline is actively considering legal action against the departing pilots and is seeking compensation totaling approximately Rs 22 crore for revenue losses incurred due to flight cancellations and groundings.

Last week, Akasa Air publicly announced its intent to pursue legal remedies against pilots who violated their contractual notice periods. An Akasa Air spokesperson stated, “We have initiated legal action against a specific group of pilots who breached their contracts by leaving without fulfilling their mandatory notice period. This not only constitutes a breach of contract but also a violation of the country’s civil aviation regulations. Such actions are not only unlawful but also unethical, resulting in last-minute flight cancellations in August, which inconvenienced numerous passengers.”

The spokesperson went on to express gratitude for the hard work of the airline’s remaining staff members, emphasizing that such behavior disrespects the dedication and integrity of the entire team, which diligently reports for duty every day.

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