Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Air India pilots’ and officials’ concerns to be addressed to prevent sale delays

The government is taking steps to ensure that Air India officials vacate company-provided accommodation, pilots’ salaries are restored and passengers get their refunds before the sale of the national carrier is approved, possibly as early as this week.

The Central government is working on plans to address these concerns, senior officials in the ministry of civil aviation told Moneycontrol.

Air India employees may be offered financial compensation equivalent to three months of rent to make it easier for them to vacate their current residences, people aware of the developments said.

“The issue around salaries of Air India’s pilots is also being considered and we are currently working on a model to reinstate the pilots’ salaries and allowances in a phased manner. We are also looking to offer some shares of Air India to pilots as part of their salaries,” one person said.

The government is also looking to expedite the refund of Rs 250 crore of travel money to passengers for flights cancelled due to restrictions imposed in the wake of Covid-19.

“About Rs 15 crore of the total Rs 250 crore is still being cleared and is likely to be cleared by the end of the month along with claims of refunds due to the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19,” one person told Moneycontrol.

The steps are being considered in order to avoid any delay in the sale of Air India by the filing of court cases, as was seen during the Jet Airways insolvency resolution process, the people said. The Central government wants to ensure the sale of debt-laden Air India goes through smoothly.

04/10/21 Yaruqhullah Khan/Moneycontrol

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