Friday, October 20, 2006

Patel tells A-I, IA: Better deliver, we’re watching

New Delhi: The celebratory mood at IGI Airport ended soon after Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel received Indian Airlines’ new Airbus A319. Patel then changed the subject — lambasting both Air India and Indian Airlines for sheer incompetence and falling short of the government’s expectations with a warning to reform or face the consequences.
Declining to elaborate on the “goings-on” in the airlines, Patel said: “I want to tell all employees of Air India and Indian Airlines that they have to come upto the expectations of both the government and the people.”
As first reported by The Indian Express, Indian Airlines has not only incurred huge losses in the first few months of the current financial year but the valuation of its total fleet has come down by around $200 million in the insurance finalised for this year. In a recent meeting to review the airline’s performance, Union Cabinet BK Chaturvedi also pulled up the airline officials, citing issues like grounding of at least 12 aircraft.
Reiterating the government’s resolve to go through with the proposed merger of both national carriers by the end of this financial year, Patel said the Prime Minister had constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM), chaired by Finance Minister P Chidamabaram, to deliberate on the issue.
19/10/06 Indian Express
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