BBC story on the woes of Air India should be a wake up call to all the PSUs in the country. Another white elephant of India, Air India has gone bankrupt. Air India has reported losses worth 5000 crore in this financial year and is seeking 10000 crore as soft loans and bail out money. BBC story is shocking:
Air India’s monthly salary bill is a whopping $650m. Lower rung employees represent almost 71% of the airline’s 31,500-strong workforce and account for about 19% of the annual wage bill.
Currently, Air India has 210 employees per aircraft – that is nearly double the global norm.
Air India cabin crew – recruited before 2004 – still work on average between 50 and 55 hours per week while the global norm is 70 hours a week.
Pilots on the international sector are paid in dollars and make up to $15,000 every month and stay in five-star hotels when on duty.
They get an incentive allowance that is not linked to the national carrier’s productivity. As a result, they can make more money when the carrier is making losses.
Air India engineers with 15 years of experience make more than 200,000 rupees per month, although their productivity reportedly is estimated to be 40% of international norms.
And employees who are union representatives for cabin crew and ground staff are officially exempt from doing work. Air India pays them their salaries, flying allowances and maintains their union offices.
Maharajah mascot was once the most recognised one after Amul baby. The down slide of the Airline has been gradual over the period. Once called ‘pride of the nation’ has turned into “shame of the nation”. Work culture is typical govt. Totally indifferent, probably they know their jobs are safe and govt. is there to bail them out no matter whether they work or not. Air India is unionised to the core, employees union, pilot union, cabin crew union, ground staff union. Name a job and they have a union!! A fine example of bad management and rampant indifference.
Bankruptcy of Air India should be an eye opener for other PSUs. Free market will force them to either perform or perish.