'Maharaja will be all right' - Civil aviation minister

Vayalar Ravi takes down suggestions from the Air India unions to overhaul it


Sweta Ranjan | July 8, 2011

Ahead of a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Air India, the Civil aviation ministry on Thursday held talks with the pilot unions and unions of the cabin crew, engineers and the ground handling staff, over the problems plaguing the national carrier. The meeting was attended by civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi and secretary Nasim Zaidi.

The minister assured that the dues of the pilots would be paid soon as the government which owes the ministry close to Rs 1,200 crore would be released soon. ICPA informed that Ravi also said in the meeting that an equity of another Rs. 1,200 crore would be cleared and injected in the Airline very soon.

The minister told the unions that the 32 lost profitable routes of the Air India would be reinstated and that the PM's office was very serious about reviving the Mahraja. He said that a decision in this regard has been taken to expeditiously turn around the Airline.

The minister also said that the ministry of civil aviation has taken special permission to fill up five positions of directors including two independent directors for better functioning of the airline.

He appreciated the unions for the peace maintained by them despite delayed salaries and said there would be no victimisation in teh airline.

Even as Ravi talked about raising the bar by incorporating world class standards in aviation and welcomed suggestions from all the stake holders, he sought the support of the unions in dealing with the tough time, which he attributed to "bad decisions" taken in the past by the management.

The Indian commercial pilot association said the meeting was cordial.



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