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 Senior officials desert Air India in hour of crisis

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gauravprakash007
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PostSubject: Senior officials desert Air India in hour of crisis   Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:17 am

NEW DELHI: Troubled national carrier Air India, which is on life support provided by the government in the form of temporary financial

assistance, is staring at a serious manpower crisis with close to a dozen senior officials quitting in the last few months.

Faced with a flat or declining career path and possible salary cuts, several top executives of the debt-ridden carrier have opted for the airline’s voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). Several other executives have gone on long leave citing various reasons.
Executives directors P Senthil Kumar, DJ Chibber and HS Grover have quit Air India since the the present Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav took charge in May last year. Officials who are on leave for months include Anita Mitroo and Manjira Khurana.

The company currently has 26 EDs 75 GMs agaist sanctioned strength of 43 and 109, respectively. “There have been a large number of premature exits in the company. The management’s decision to cut performance-linked incentives (PLI) of EDs and functional directors have left people demotivated,” said an airline official.

The Air India management headed by chairman Arvind Jadhav had proposed a cut in PLIs of top company directors. While the payment of PLIs has been withheld for some time with a final decision on incentives is still pending. “You can not expect people to work in a salary band of Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000 (in case PLI is withdrawn) after putting in 30 years of service,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

The airline introduced a VRS scheme last year for non-technical personnel besides offering its 32,000 staff the option of leave without pay in its bid to cut cost. As against 105-120 employess per aircraft in case of private carriers Air India has an aircraft manpower ratio of 1:230.

Government-owned National Aviation Company of India (Nacil) that runs the airline needs to cut costs by Rs1,991 crore by March to get Rs 2,000 crore from the government as the first tranche of the equity infusion. It is seeking an equity infusion of Rs5,000 crore by the government to boost its debt-raising capacity.

While two BSE-listed private carriers Jet Airways and SpiceJet have reported profit of Rs 105 and Rs 109 crores respectively in the lst quarter, profitability for Air India is still a distant dream. The airline posted a loss of Rs 1473.85 crore in October-December 2009 compared with Rs 1632.23 crore during the corresponding period the previous year.

Air India’s management, which is looking for salary cut, says the average salary of Air India staff is 15-20% higher compared with their counterparts in rival carriers Jet Airways and Kingfisher. While the same is true in case of technical and operational categories such as pilots and engineers, non-technical executives draw a much lower salary.

Faced with an accumulated loss of more than Rs 8,000 crore as on December 2009 the national carrier has sought a bail-out from the government.

While the government has already provided temporary financial relief to the airline, it wants Air India to take tougher decisions to cut cost. The airline’s decision to cut the salaries of senior pilots last year met with strong resistance with pilots taking medical leave en masse to disrupt the airline’s operations.

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PostSubject: Re: Senior officials desert Air India in hour of crisis   Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:18 am

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/Senior-officials-desert-Air-India-in-hour-of-crisis/articleshow/5585968.cms

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