Supreme Court upholds AI decision to downsize onboard cabin crew

New Delhi: The country''s apex court has dismissed a petition filed by Air India Cabin Crew Association, which challenged a decision by the carrier to slash the number of its cabin crew on board. The association had challenged the national carrier''s decision in this regard.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhan dismissed the petition saying that the association had been consulted before working out such an arrangement.

The Association had sought quashing of the Bombay High Court judgement that upheld the carrier''s decision to reduce the number of crewmembers aboard Air India flights.

Senior counsel Arun Jaitley, appearing for the association, had submitted that the AI management had unilaterally sought to change the cabin crew complement in their aircraft thus "affecting the health of the petitioners'' members, safety of passengers and the aircraft."

According to the petition, the unilateral slashing of the number of the cabin crew on board all aircraft had resulted in elimination of posts in each type of aircraft, proportionate increase in the workload, reduction in monthly utilisation of the crew and number of flying hours per month besides reduction in compensatory flight related allowances.