AI unions, sub-committee to discuss turnaround plan

AI unions, sub-committee to discuss turnaround plan

Mumbai: The sub-committee of the Air India Board will meet shortly with the leaders of the 14 trade unions representing a cross-section of staffers, including pilots and engineers, on the company’s cost-cutting and turnaround plan.

“The unions are ready with their suggestions and will be meeting shortly with the panel to put across these suggestions," union sources said on Sunday.

A constant monitoring of fuel consumption, minimum use of hotels, getting away with the practice of dual engineers (if the aircraft is of the same type and regulations permit), bringing-down overtime expenditures to almost zero-level are some of the suggestions that are likely to be presented to the panel, sources said.

The Committee was set up recently, following which the executive pilots withdrew the agitation against slashing of their productivity-linked incentive (PLI) and flying allowance by 50%.

Besides Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav, the committee comprises Civil Aviation Ministry’s joint secretary and Financial Adviser E K Bharat Bhushan and Joint Secretary Prashant Sukul.

The Committee would submit its recommendations to the Board within two months.

There are 14 trade unions in Air India representing pilots, engineers, officers, cabin crew, technicians, ground handling staff and other employees.

With accumulated losses of Rs7,200 crore and borrowings of over Rs15,000 crore, the national air-carrier is seeking a bailout package from the Government.

Besides, Air India has also initiated a host of cost-cutting measures such as route and manpower rationalisation and re-negotiations of some contracts.

The carriers plans cost savings worth Rs1,300 crore through reduction in aircraft material and fuel costs, running of rentals and other administrative costs.

It expects a saving of Rs300 crore through aircraft material cost, Rs100 crore through fuel savings, Rs200 crore through re-negotiation of handling contracts at various airports and Rs200 crore through elimination of wasteful expenditure in various areas and another Rs100 crore on rentals and other administrative costs.

In addition to this, Air India is also hopeful of rationalising its manpower costs by Rs400 crore as part of its operational restructuring.