India, May 8 -- Air India Express was forced to cancel flights on Wednesday after several crew members of the airline went on mass 'sick leaves', two officials aware of the matter confirmed.

They said that the crew reported sick in protest against the Tata management over the merger of AIX Connect (AirAsia India with Air India Express).

"A section of our cabin crew reported sick at the last minute, starting last night, resulting in flight delays and cancellations. While we are engaging with the crew to understand the reasons behind these occurrences, our teams are actively addressing this issue to minimise any inconvenience to our guests," an Air India Express spokesperson said.

Offering refunds for the affected flights, the spokespers...