28-May-2010 10:50 AM

Air India-Indian Airlines employees combine to jeopardise merger - Minister

Indian Minister for Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, stated there is a move from within Air India-Indian Airlines, under the parent company, the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), to ensure the merger “does not succeed” (IBN Live, 27-Mar-2010).

Ministry of Civil Aviation:See the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines is absolutely sound, have Deccan and Kingfisher not merged, Jet-Sahara merged, internationally just now Continental and United are merging, KLM, Air France. I can name 20 examples of airlines merging, but yes I tell you that there has been an opposition from within and a systematic effort to see that the merger does not succeed … Yes by the people in the organisation, some of the unions also are to blame for that … I made it very clear to the management that you have full freedom and you must do whatever is necessary in the circumstances … This kind of gross indiscipline will not be tolerated … If they feel it [staff termination] is necessary they are free to do it. We will not come in the way. The fact is that they have the autonomy and I wish they exercise it in the best interest of Air India,” Praful Patel, Minister for Civil Aviation. Source: IBN Live, 27-Mar-2010.