Friday, November 08, 2019

'Restrictions place us at handicap financially': Air India CMD Ashwin Lohani pens open letter to employees

Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ashwani Lohani on Friday wrote an open letter to Air India employees amid the government initiative regarding disinvestment of Air India. In his letter, the CMD mentioned that Air India is going through a 'stretched financial situation' and that functioning in a 'highly competitive environment' on account of the liabilities that the company is facing has placed the airlines at a 'handicap', both financially as well as operationally.

"As you all are aware, Air India has been going through an extremely stretched financial situation, primarily due to huge debt servicing liabilities that have been affecting the airline," the letter stated, "the position gets compounded due to legacy issues and the constraining environment that being a PSU, we are forced to live with."

The letter then went on to state that in the competitive environment, the airline's competitors are not constrained by certain limitations, that place them at an advantage over Air India. "Being an airline we function in a highly competitive environment, an environment in which our competitors are not constrained by the procedures, restrictions and oversight that we at Air India face placing us at a handicap both financially and operationally," the letter added.

Around 120 Airbus A-320 pilots tendered their resignation in October after their demands pertaining to the salary hike and promotion were not paid heed to by the AI management. This came in the backdrop of the Central government's decision to initiate the process of divestment of Air India's stake, which has a debt of over Rs 60,000 crore.
08/11/19 DNA

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