Air India Will Survive Due To Government Patronage

Karunanidhi Wants Dreamliner to Be Renamed After Periyar

Karunanidhi Wants Dreamliner to Be Renamed After Periyar
Karunanidhi Wants Dreamliner to Be Renamed After Periyar | Source

75% Pay Cut For The Employees In The Offing?

Foolish Activities of the Management

Air India has taken back the suspended crew six months after they were arrested for posting offensive activities in the Facebook. Public reaction over their suspension and arrest forced the authorities to yield. A consultant has been appointed to monetise the assets of Air India. I think another consultant needs to be appointed to check the foolish activities of the management like suspending its employees for social media posting.

Air India Can Never Turn Around

There is a talk that Air India is on course for a turnaround. This view is based on a sizeable increase in the number passengers in November. But in my view, Air India can never turn around for many years and even if it does, it will take quite a long time to wipe out its accumulated losses. Air India’s inefficiency can be gauged by the fact that it cancelled its flight and took the passengers by bus from Chennai to Trichy. In the meanwhile, Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) have given a lifeline to Air India by agreeing to fully subscribe to its Rs.7400 crore bond issue. Air India is eyeing another Rs.5000 crore from its properties.

Bad Name to Chennai Airport

A part of this money was supposed to be used to pay salaries to its employees before Diwali. Air India is able to survive because its bonds get government guarantee. Air India is also not taking sufficient care to maintain its fleet properly. A mishap grounded its aircraft Boeing 747 bound for Jeddah in Chennai. In Chennai airport, maintenance is poor. On 6th August, a Qatar Airways aircraft suffered from a hit by a tractor. On 20th August, a tractor hit an arm lift vehicle. On 26th September, a Kingfisher Airlines aircraft was grounded due to hit by a tractor. Successive incidents like this have earned a bad name to the Chennai Airport.

Is Dreamliner A Dream?

Sans government cover, Air India’s burden will rise. Acquisition of Dreamliner has triggered interest among the passenger for full service carriers. When Air India has suffered losses to the extent of thousands of crores, was there any need to go for this luxury of Dreamliners? A CBI team is probing into the scams of Air India. Dreamliner has the state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment arrangement, business class seats fitted with flat-bed recline, reading lamps, footrests and larger LCD screens. Air India should ask its cabin crew not to utilise these facilities themselves. Air India management had already warned the cabin crew not to eat the passenger meals.

49% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) In Aviation but No Takers

Government of India has cleared 49% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the aviation sector but there are no takers for a stake in Air India. Air India will be setting up several subsidiaries in the time to come. Out of these, Air India Engineering Services Ltd will take up maintenance, repair and overhaul business in international level. In Asia Pacific region alone, this business is worth $1.5 billion and is growing. This is positive news about Air India. But the negative news is that it is cramped by strikes. Why the Air India management decided to use the Dreamliner on domestic routes and not on long distance flights like other airlines is not clear. Perhaps the politicians would have forced this decision on the management as they can fly in the luxury aircraft without paying any money.

Karunanidhi Wants Dreamliner to Be Renamed After Periyar

There is a suggestion that Air India should re-christen the Dreamliner with a suitable Indian name but the management has not considered this so far. The DMK President and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi has suggested that the Dreamliner should be renamed as Periyar Aircraft in honour of his leader E V R Periyar who fought against the Brahmins in Tamil Nadu and garlanded the idol of Lord Rama with shoes. Kapil Sibal is favouring considering this suggestion. Air India’s Rs.30000 crore revamp packages are being delayed due to hurdles from finance ministry.

75% Pay Cut For The Employees In The Offing?

Air India has imposed a 25% pay cut on its employees. But the government is feeling that this is not enough and a 75% pay cut should be imposed. The government feels that these employees are responsible for the huge loss incurred by Air India. Leasing aircraft on loss-making routes has cost Air India Rs.4300 crore. The government feels that had the employees not taken the decision to operate on loss making routes, Air India would not have incurred this loss and hence justify its pay cut. But flying on loss-making routes is a government decision and employees have nothing to do with it. But this view will not be accepted by the government and they will squarely blame the employee’s right from the peon to the pilot for the losses incurred.

Like Indian Bank, Air India Will Service

But whatever happens, Air India will survive like Indian Bank. Politicians loot in both the institutions and see that they are not closed down as they want to continue their loot. Kingfisher Airlines is not so fortunate

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