crunch, something which has been happening very frequently in past few months.
"Of our 3,200 cabin crew members, anywhere up to 20 percent are on leave at any given time due to medical or other reasons. We have hired 500 members recently and will get another 1,000 staffers. Those on 'bench' will be paid between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 while those who fly will get up to a lakh (as they will get flying allowances too). Cancelling a flight for crew shortage costs about a crore and keeping people on bench is an economic way to avoid the big loss," a national daily quoted a senior official of the Maharaja as saying.
Air India was earlier forced to cancel so many flights due to cabin crew shortage that the aviation ministry had to direct it to hire cabin crew.
The airline had to crack the whip on personnel who have not been reporting to work for almost three months without even informing it. It had issued show-cause notice to 20 'missing' personnel and asked them to report for work. The national carrier had sacked some personnel for prolonged absence from work.