06 May, 2021

On The Flying Dodo’s Trail

Praful Patel is certainly not ‘Air India’s minister’, considering the sordid mess the national airline is in

AP
On The Flying Dodo’s Trail
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

How To Ground An Airline

AI’s fortunes have taken a nosedive in the past six years

  • Micro-management: Minister Praful Patel micro-manages the airline; management decisions emanate from his ministry HQ. Has strained relations with CMD Arvind Jadhav, who has a mind of his own.
  • Morale: Professionalism takes backseat, top management unable or unwilling to read the changing market conditions. AI’s 11 MDs in the past 20 years had an average tenure of a year—with two exceptions.
  • Merger: The 2007 merger between A-I and IA is widely slammed. AI still has an average of two managers per position, staff strength is three times what’s required, and it has a non-integrated fleet.
  • Bilaterals: Massive additional air traffic rights granted to foreign carriers after 2004-05. But merged AI/IA is not in a position to increase capacity, leading to a fatal loss of marketshare.
  • ...

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