Friday, August 18, 2017

Consult Air India employees, don’t sell family silver: MP Dalwai

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha member Husain Dalwai, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has sought reversal of the decision to disinvest from Air India. Dalwai said disinvestment would mean escaping responsibility for decisions in the past that were ill-informed, and would not be the solution it was made out to be.
Encouraging the government to take tough decisions to rein in expenditure and put in place innovative solutions that would generate revenue, including monetizing valuable assets of the airline, he said the Prime Minister should engage in consultation with employees who oppose privatization of the national airline.
Dalwai reminded the Prime Minister that all India's Prime Ministers have flown Air India on their trips abroad. Also, in times of crisis, like during the Gulf War of 1990, 1,75,000 Indians were evacuated from the war-ravaged area by the national airline.
Dalwai pointed out that there was steady improvement in the financial condition of the airline in recent times. In 2015-16, AI made operational profits. In a response to questions raised in Parliament, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said that AI expects revenue to jump 9.7% in 2016-17 over the previous year. Passenger Load Factor was set to improve, and passengers had also increased from 13.4 million in 2011-12 to 18 million by 2015-16.
18/08/17 Rosamma Thomas/Times of India