They said that commissioning of AI's Maintenance Overhaul Facility (MRO) at Nagpur, Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram would help save the expenses for maintenance and repair of aircraft, which is presently done overseas. Airlines in the country now operate around 450 aircraft and majority of them are serviced abroad. The MROs, when operational, would be a revenue-earner for AI, they said.
There had been no effort to tap the domestic market despite stiff competition from private and foreign airlines. No attempt was being made to retain the monopoly over ground handling that AI had enjoyed over the years. According to them, the aircraft are not being optimally used. While an AI aircraft flies nine hours, Qatar Airways use their aircraft for 17 hours and Lufthansa for 14 hours. The crew scheduling was done manually though software was available.
One sector, one airline
Air India now operates flights of AI and IA to the same sector, in India and abroad. It has been suggested that just one airline be operated to one sector. Aircraft should be operated on sectors where there is demand and connectivity to all metros from tier-two cities has been suggested.
Uncertainty prevails over the non-payment of salaries of May to the 40,000 odd employees of AI. This is the first time in the recent history that the airline had to defer the payment of salary for such a long time. The cash crunch is reportedly caused by the recession in the aviation industry and other committed payments, including interests on the aircraft delivered. The 10-day strike by the pilots' associations caused cancellation of 1,600 flights and a revenue loss of Rs.150 crore to AI.
Merger still incomplete
According to sources, merger of Air India and Indian Airlines had led to different pay structures in the organization. “The merger has not been completed. Operational integration is yet to take place. It is like a divided house,” sources said.
Bone of contention
Employees with same designation and experience get different salaries now. The staff of erstwhile Indian Airlines gets higher pay due to high Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI). An Assistant Manager of IA gets four times PLI than his AI counterpart. However, pilots of AI get more than four times PLI than those of erstwhile IA. The pilots of IA get PLI only for the hours they fly, whereas those in AI get the standard PLI of 75 hours whether they fly or not. This was the bone of contention during the strike by a section of pilots.
As the IA had put an upper limit for PLI, those in its higher management cadre get a lower PLI than their counterparts in AI. Twenty per cent of the staff in the management cadre and engineering staff in the national carrier take home 80 per cent of the airline's total salary, sources said.
Source: The Hindu (http://www.airindiaonlinebooking.in)
# # #
WGM Media is a SEO Company in India providing all internet marketing services and SEO services. Visit our site - http://www.webgainmedia.com