Govt tells Air India to freeze all appointments, promotions


New Delhi, Jul 21 (IANS): In the wake of its proposed privatization, the government has asked Air India to put a freeze on large-scale promotion and appointments.

A new flights has to be started only when it is extremely necessary and after due diligence from commercial aspect.

"The direction came almost a week back. It says that due to impending privatization, no major initiatives have to be taken up. There will be freeze on appointments and promotions," an official source told IANS.

The direction has come from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or DIPAM.

After failing to find a bidder in its previous term, the Modi 2.0 government is working on war-footing to sell Air India to a private player. It has already reconstituted the group of ministers (GoM) to decide the course of privatization.

Consulting firm EY is already working to finalize preliminary information memorandum (PIM) to invite expression of interest (EoI) from prospective bidders.

"This time, we have no doubt over disinvestment. The speed at which things are moving, the airline's ownership would be transferred to a private party," said a senior Air India executive.

Air India has a total debt of about Rs 58,000 crore. The cumulative loss of the national carrier is to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore. In the financial year ending March 31, 2019 the airline is estimated to have reported a loss of Rs 7,600 crore.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri this week said that Air India has to be privatized in order to save it. He suggested that government was not equipped to run an airline where operational decisions on a day to day basis have to be taken immediately rather than following a bureaucratic process or going for tender process.

"Left to myself, I would all be interested entirely in supporting the public sector. But, the question arises: is the government equipped to run an entity, like Air India, where operational decisions on a day to day basis have to be taken on the spot?" Puri said in the Rajya Sabha.

The reconstituted GoM headed by Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to meet in the next few weeks to take decisions pertaining to Air India's privatization.

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Comment on this article

  • mohan, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 21 2019

    Air India once very profitable company when Tatas handling....... after corrupt government undertaking becomes lose making...... and no one ready to take it....

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Sun, Jul 21 2019

    Look at the ticket price of Air India Express Dubai-Mangalore ...its around 70,000 rupees return. Most flights are running full! Certainly money is flowing into private pockets!

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent D'Souza, Belthangady

    Sun, Jul 21 2019

    Where is the"Chupa Rustom" contributing to repeated mounting losses hiding in Air India? Apparently, all flights take-off & Land with 100% Occupancy? Many measure were undertaken & applied - such as trimming the onboard Menu, overtime, perks, utilization of parking slots by drastically cutting down "idle lying" of aircraft, etc., etc. Then, why the losses are getting dissolved? Has Mr. Ashwin Lohani succeeded in peeping through the black holes which are sucking most of the revenue? He was appointed to revert the current scenario! I strongly recommend to bring in experts who can destroy such black holes which are impediments for the growth of the Airline? There may not be a quick buyer in the near future?

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna Dasa, Udupi,.

    Sun, Jul 21 2019

    Air India was belong to Tata group. Indian States belong to former Maharaja's & British. Oil companies belong to Dutch, British & USA. Nothing was belong to Indian Government. Government failed to manage & govern taken over assets So, The Government should return everything to it previous rightful owners.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangaluru

    Sun, Jul 21 2019

    This may be due to the negative growth of Air India where manpower incentive schemes are pushed to the back burner.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse


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