SAVE AIR INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION
“Earnest Appeal to our Valuable Passengers & the General Public of India”
We the Pilots of Air India sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to our valuable passengers. Unfortunately, as with yourself, this strike was also imposed upon us. The corrupt and inept management of this Airline has indulged in rampant corruption, gross irregularities and blunders for many years and always blamed the pilots and its employees for it. We have reached a saturation point where we cannot be mute spectators to it anymore.
Let it be known, that the downfall of Air India was not an impulsive single act of forced copulation, it was systematic and long - drawn out; the traumatized National Carrier suffered severe and sustained assault over several years. Many a Parliamentary Committee’s highlighted how the crime was planned and executed and suggested who was responsible, but our political and administrative masters were and remain unmoved.
Therefore, we demand that action be taken against those who have brought this organization to its knees - a company that was making a profit of 55 crore till the year 2007, mysteriously converted into a loss of 40,000 crore in four years. We also demand your support for the Government to initiate a CBI inquiry into the multiple scams that plague this Airline and the Airline industry as a whole in India.
We, as professionals have only done our jobs more than 100% and we expect to be treated with some degree of professionalism and dignity.
Yes, today Air India remains a festering sore and still Mr. Arvind Jadhav continues to remains at the helm of affairs as the CMD. We bring to your notice some of the irregularities & blunders caused by the present and past Governments / managements of Air India, as prime facie evidence:
• One of the most startling policy decisions, and one that has certainly contributed to the mammoth hole that the National Carrier finds itself in, was the decision to merge the 2 carriers, Air India and Indian Airlines: the argument given was that this would allow an entry into the Star Alliance which it was promised would be the silver bullet to end all of the National Carriers problems. No explanation was given on why the Star Alliance alone was chosen from amongst others. The merger was totally ill-conceived, ill-planned and which had been rejected time and again by earlier Governments, has till date not been effected in any profitable manner. The amalgamation remains a myth and no efforts to resolving the complex issues of merger have even been initiated till now. An independent agency needs to be constituted to inquire into this blunder and find out who benefited from this decision.
• Fleet acquisition scam: Air India had made a request for 24 aircraft in the MCLR category (Medium Capacity Long Range) and even initially selected the Airbus A340-300. Indian Airlines on the other hand had wanted a total 43 new Airbuses to replace the existing fleet of Airbuses they already operated: that’s a total of 67 aircraft. The minister, for reasons best known to him decided that the number just wasn’t enough. So the actual order placed was for a whopping 111 aircraft, instead of the combined total requirement projected by both the airlines of 67. How could an Airline with a turnover of a little over 7000 crores place orders for aircraft costing over 32000 crores? The interest burden per year alone would come to 6000 crores! Another stupefying factor was the complete lack of transparency in the order process. Rules were being bent and changed to benefit one manufacturer (Boeing) for reasons that are still not entirely clear. This is a scam of mammoth proportions and needs to be investigated by the CBI.
• 32 Profitable Routes mainly in the Gulf and Singapore sectors which were going nearly 85-100% full were curtailed in the name of route rationalization and...