Is Akasa Air going through turbulent times, as pilots quit abruptly?

Newly launched budget airline Akasa Air has been forced to reduce flights amid a spate of pilot resignations.

Akasa Air CEO Vinay Dube told employees in an email late on Tuesday that the airline would give up market share in the short term ‘to ensure stable operations.

The development comes days after the company said it had taken legal action against the ‘small set of pilots’ who left without serving their notice period.

‘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, according to a Reuters report.

Amid assertions that the company may ‘shut down’ after such a dramatic exit, the Akasa Air CEO also stressed the ‘temporary nature of this arrangement.’

According to a recent Business Standard report, lawyers representing Akasa Air told the Delhi High Court that the company was facing a ‘state of crisis’ and ‘possible closure’ after the exit of several pilots.

It had called for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to enforce the mandatory notice period rule (which stands at six months for co-pilots, one year for commanders currently).

The abrupt resignations also forced Akasa Air to cancel hundreds of flights in the past few months. The number could be as high as up to 600 or 700 flights in September alone, in case resignations continue. 

‘Not only is this illegal in law but also an unethical and selfish act that disrupted flights in August forcing last minute cancellations that stranded thousands of customers causing significant inconvenience to the travelling public,’ an Akasa Air spokesperson said about the developments in a recent statement.