Why Air India cancels leaves of pilots, with immediate effect

Mumbai: Air India on March 1 cancelled the leaves of pilots with an immediate effect amid increasing number of domestic air travellers.

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that caused large-scale disruptions, domestic flight services were suspended for two months from March 25 last year. After resumption on May 25, 2020, air traffic has been on the rise.

According to an internal communication, all leaves for cockpit crew stands withdrawn with an immediate effect.

However, the communication noted that leaves may be granted in extreme cases on a case-to-case basis, depending upon the urgency of the situation.

The communication did not mention any specific reasons for the decision to cancel the leaves.

Query sent to an Air India spokesperson remained unanswered.

Last month, the civil aviation ministry said the number of domestic flights that Indian airlines are permitted to operate will remain at 80 per cent of their pre-COVID levels till March 31 or till the summer schedule begins.

In a statement on Monday, the ministry said 3,13,668 domestic passengers were flown by airlines on February 28, the highest number since resumption of local flights on May 25, 2020.

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