Civil Aviation Minister meets Air India employees to review Air India functioning

Direct News Source

14-Oct-2009 The Minister for Civil Aviation today reviewed the functioning of Air India at a comprehensive meeting with the employees of various sections of Air India in Mumbai. He held detailed discussions with them on the efforts of the government to turn around Air India.

The Minister expressed hope that the representatives of the employees were aware of the problems. He also informed them about the government initiative for infusion of equity and restructuring of high cost debt to lower cost debt. The Committee of Secretaries is looking into the entire process of the turn around. He further said this is conditional upon cost cutting and revenue enhancement in the ailing corporation. The employees were in favour to participatory process and have agreed with the management to engage in constant dialogue to find out viable and sustainable solutions to the problems faced by the company.

The Minister also added that the aviation industry is on the road of recovery though not as quickly as forecasted before. Losses just due to high oil prices have been around Rs. 10,000 crores in the Indian Aviation sector alone. This is been further compounded by the economic slowdown, 26/11 terrorist attacks and various cost cutting measures by both the corporate and the government sector. The sector has seen 30 per cent drop in air traffic though there has been slight improvement in last 2-3 months, however there is still a long way to go.

The Minister reiterated his appreciation for the sincere cooperation shown by the employees of Air India and he was hopeful that the management and the union would forge the way forward for the company. A Turn-around Committee (TC) has been set up by the Air India Management with representatives of the Ministry of Civil Aviation as well as employees union. The Committee would meet in New Delhi tomorrow to discuss various options for reduction of cost and enhancement of revenue.