Air India to Reduce Flight Frequency to Oman, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi

Air India has decided to reduce the frequency of flights to West Asian countries as a temporary measure due to crew and plane shortage. The airline has cancelled several weekly flights to Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar, affecting passengers traveling to and from these destinations.
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Air India, an Indian full-service carrier owned by Tata Group has announced that it will temporarily reduce flight frequencies to Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar in an effort to alleviate the airline’s ongoing crew and plane shortages.

According to multiple reports, from the last week of April to the end of May, the airline will cancel one weekly flight on both sides between Delhi and Muscat, Delhi and Dubai, and Delhi and Abu Dhabi.

Network Alignment Causes Cancellations

According to an Air India official, the airline is aligning its network with Air India Express, which has resulted in the cancellation of several Air India flights.

The airline will not operate its weekly Delhi-Muscat flight on Saturdays from April 29 to May 27, Sundays from April 30 to May 28, Tuesdays from May 2 to May 30, and Wednesdays from May 3 to May 31.

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Flight RouteDay of CancellationDuration of Cancellation
Delhi-MuscatSaturdaysApril 29 – May 27
Delhi-DohaSundaysApril 30 – May 28
Delhi-DubaiTuesdaysMay 2 – May 30
Delhi-Abu DhabiWednesdaysMay 3 – May 31

Also Read: Air India Express to Stop Operating Flights from UAE to Mumbai and Delhi

Summer Traffic Expected to Rise

The airline’s decision to reduce flights to West Asian countries is part of a network restructuring designed to make the most of its plane fleet.

According to an Air India official, the airline will reduce flights to the Middle East following Eid-ul-Fitr because traffic drops dramatically after the holidays, whereas domestic summer traffic in India is expected to increase due to school vacations.

Airline Struggling with Crew and Plane Shortages

It is worth noting here that for the last six months, Air India has struggled with crew and plane shortages as it seeks to expand its international operations and grow under its new owners, the Tata Group.

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Due to a crew shortage, Air India’s Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Campbell Wilson, announced in March that the airline would reduce the frequency of flights to the United States (US). Six weekly flights to the United States will be reduced for the next two to three months due to a crew shortage.

Voluntary Retirement Scheme

The airline has been facing a crew shortage since 1,500 employees accepted the airline’s voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) in June 2022.

The airline launched the first phase of VRS to 4,500 eligible employees over the age of 40 who have worked for the company for at least 20 years. The airline announced a second VRS in March for approximately 2,100 eligible employees.

Looking to Hire Foreign Pilots

As the airline industry currently faces a pilot shortage, Air India is looking to hire foreign pilots on a temporary basis to meet the demand for Boeing 777 aircraft. Several flights between India and West Asian countries may be affected as Air India and Air India Express align their networks.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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