India, May 9 -- Air India Express sacked 25 of its crew members, who went on "sick leave" on Wednesday in protest against the merger with AirAsia India, calling the abstention "pre-meditated and concerted" and without "any justifiable reason" even as disruptions continued with the cancellation of 74 flights on Thursday. At least 160 flights have been cancelled since Wednesday.

An Air India Express statement said the airline was making every possible effort to minimise the inconvenience caused to guests and that it operated 283 flights on Thursday. "We have mobilised all resources and Air India will support us by operating on 20 of our routes. However, 85 of our flights stand cancelled and we urge our guests booked to fly with us to check...