Air India extends olive branch to employees

Mumbai, June 1 (IANS) The national flag carrier Air India Tuesday assured its employees that it was time for ‘consolidation, not confrontation’ and spoke of its plans to embark on a programme to effect a turnaround.

AI chairman-cum-managing director Arvind Jadhav expressed his views at a meeting with office-bearers of various employees unions and associations here Tuesday evening.

Jadhav also expressed his distress at the sudden two-day flash strike last week which ‘was totally avoidable’ when the AI was coming to terms with a tragedy, an air accident in Mangalore last week.

‘A large majority of employees also feel that there should not be any disruption. We are also striving hard for improved performance. This is the time for consolidation; not confrontation,’ Jadhav said.

Elaborating, he said the focus of the management would be on financial restructuring and organisational transformation.

Jadhav assured the employees that the newly-constituted AI board sub-committees would review the entire gamut of operational issues to ensure that productivity can be increased by adopting international work practices.

He added that with the inauguration of the state-of-the-art Terminal T3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, AI would have the first mover advantage of integrated domestic and international operations from one of the most modern airport terminals in the world.

Besides, Jadhav said, the forthcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi Oct 3-14 would offer the AI a grandstand opportunity to showcase ‘Brand Air India’ to an international audience.

By the end of the year, the airline intends to put in place all processes to join Star Alliance and become a truly global carrier, he said.

‘It is time for the 30,000 AI employees to come together and work towards a bright and prosperous future that is rightfully yours,’ Jadhav appealed, extending an olive branch to the employees.

On their part, the employees unions and associations reciprocated by expressing their whole-hearted support to the turnaround initiatives of the management.

Jadhav also appreciated the manner in which the employees showed team spirit and responded to the tragic incident of the Air India Express accident in Mangalore in which 158 people were killed.

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