Nervous employees are on a wing and a prayer


NEW DELHI: Years behind and truncated wages made Air India employees realize long ago that the government will no longer fund Maharaja indefinitely and that many of them are looking to an uncertain future. Given the huge financial albatross of Rs 1 lakh-crore around their neck, not having a single bidder in 2018 came as a surprise to them. His worst fear was ending up as Alitalia, which had to close because Italy did not privatize it in time. And the best hope: a radical change like Lufthansa, KLM, Swiss or British Airways when they went from government to private property.
Now that the airline heads to the founder’s homecoming Tata Group, there are two different groups of employees. You see a bright future for AI and for themselves. And others mentioning AirAsia India and Vistara’s recurring losses since launch, and wondering if the group has so far been different from the government in profitably running airlines during re-entry into business less than a decade ago.

Successive governments did a terrible job of running, or a great job of ruining, AI and Indian Airlines. The two airlines simply couldn’t compete as they were run by clueless political masters and managers with a few honorable exceptions. Now there is a ray of hope that Tatas it will eventually launch a team of top domain specialists drawn from a global talent pool and ensure AI takes its rightful place in the sun, ”said one senior pilot.
While it does not differ from this pilot for having suffered decades of mismanagement as Power supply, a longtime employee said: “This is the case of a losing entity (Tata JV Airlines) taking over from another losing mega entity (AI). If the government lets clueless bureaucrats run AI, Tata still doesn’t boast of having an excellent aviation team of the kind that Rahul Bhatia has built in IndiGo because the full service Qatar airlines He has been applying for a stake in the budget airline for years, ”said the staff member.
Each group of employees has their own anxieties. Cabin crew, for example, remain concerned that the not-so-young will be held up for too long in the privatized AI. To be sure, most foreign airlines have a mix of young and experienced (not so young) cabin crew.
Employees have been asked to vacate AI housing colonies within six months of taking over from a new owner. His concerns about the PF (provident fund) were resolved and the government promised to cover any shortfall when the fund from its trusts is transferred to EPFO. CGHS may continue to provide medical care.
“We would not have a bright future if AI had not been privatized, as the government made it clear that it will have to close the airline in that case. Now we can hope that the Tatas, known for being considerate employers, will not fire us and join us on their aviation trip, ”said one employee.

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