Offer letter dispensed amid Covid, 62 AI cabin crew trainees move Bombay HC

Mumbai: More than 60 persons who were receiving training as Air India Cabin crew when the pandemic arrived, petitioned Bombay high court against their “illegal termination’’ in July.
The HC bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Abhay Ahuja a week ago issued notice to Air India and posted matter for hearing later this month. Irfan Malim, aged 35, and 61 others including almost 30 women candidates had responded to the advertisement published on 11-06-2019 on the website of Air India inviting applications for the post of Cabin crew on fixed term engagement. They cleared written test as well as preliminary medical test and all the necessary qualifications required for the post said their lawyer Akshay Radikar. Additional solicitor general Anil Singh appeared for the Centre.
Their petition stated that they had received an “Offer letter from Air India” informing them that they were selected for the post of cabin crew on fixed term engagement and would have to undergo training successfully before a contract gets executed by Air India with them. A three-month training began last December in Hyderabad, they said and with the Covid-19 outbreak in March they were asked to return home and the training was stopped. They said they waited only to be told on July 6 that the training is discontinued and their offer of engagement is dispensed with as AI informed them that due to the current aviation scenario it was not possible for the airline to engage the candidates in services.
The termination is not on any of the grounds listed in the offer letter said the petition.
02/09/20 Swati Deshpande/Times of India

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