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Broke Air India hires expensive expat

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 11, 2011
First Published: 01:03 IST(11/2/2011) | Last Updated: 01:05 IST(11/2/2011)

The country's national carrier, Air India, has hired another expatriate for a plum job at a time when it is unable to pay salaries of its existing employees on time.


On February 8, the airline appointed Rod Butchers as the general manager of the International Operations Control Center (IOCC), which has been set up at Delhi airport's T3, to streamline AI's international flight operations.

Sources from the airline said that Butchers has been hired at a salary of $20,000 (approx Rs. 9 lakh) a month.

AI officials said that Butchers's appointment is a short-term measure to set up the IOCC, which was announced two months ago.

The move has upset employees in the loss-making company as the management has delayed their January salaries till February 14, citing a cash crunch. Earlier this week, AI's pilot unions had threatened to go on strike owing to regular delays in payments since mid-2009.

The process of Butchers's appointment began around the same time last month when the management proposed a pay hike for its chief operating officer, Gustav Baldauf, another expat.

An Air India spokesperson refused to comment.

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