Air India employees have been on leave for 4 years

Oct 19, 2013, 04:50 IST | Akela

Around 1,000 employees of national airline are on vacation since 2009, and administration is waiting for them to report back to work; meanwhile, the missing employees have started their own businesses or have joined other airlines

If you thought getting a flight ticket was tough during the festiveseason, try getting employees to work on these flights. There seems to be no dearth of trouble at Air India as the national airline is currently busy trying to get its employees to report back to work.

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Four years ago, the organisation had floated a scheme in which employees could take a leave for a maximum of two years, on condition that they forego their salaries.

Over a thousand people made use of the scheme and went on a holiday, but they have very well exceeded their leave quota. These include crew members and manager-level officers.

Last week, the Air India administration sent a letter to all of these employees, asking them to resume duty as soon as possible, or provide a valid reason why they will not be returning to work.

G P Rao, spokesperson for Air India, said, “We have written to them asking them to come back or explain their absence. If they refuse to do so, action will be taken against them.”

An employee, who went on conditional leave, revealed that he had started a business of his own and would not be joining back. Others have already joined other airlines.

“The management has woken up because it is festive season, and there is a lot of work to be done. In 2009, when we were not getting our salaries on time, and there was talk about shutting the company, they were least bothered about us. We didn’t see a future with the company and that’s why we went on leave,” said the employee, on condition of anonymity.

It is to be noted that while these employees aren’t paid a salary, they still enjoy other benefits like travel allowance, dearness allowance and a provision of residential quarters.

Air India incurs a loss of Rs 600 crore every month, as its monthly income is around Rs 1,100 crore and expenses are around Rs 1,700 crore.  

Rs 600 cr Losses that Air India incurs every month

Falling apart
The national airline always manages to stay in the news, one wayor another. Three days ago, an 8X4 feet panel in the fuselage on AI-803, a Dreamliner in the Air India fleet, fell off mid-air. The hole in the plane was only noticed when the plane landed safely, albeit luckily, at the Bengaluru airport

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