Make good on-board announcements in Hindi and get rewarded! That’s the message from national carrier Air India (AI) to its pilots.
“Pilots either make announcements in English or they do not make announcements at all,” according to a recent note circulated to pilots quoting from the minutes of a meeting held between senior AI and aviation ministry officials.
“We should be self inspired to make announcements in Hindi. Pilots who make good announcements in Hindi should be rewarded,” it said.
To keep a tab that announcements are indeed being made in Hindi, the airline has decided that “details about the announcements made by pilots should be recorded in flight reports” and opinion of passengers about these announcements would also be sought through a “feedback form”.
“Instead of coming with constructive ideas to make the company a financially viable airline, the top management is only interested in such gimmicks. This only shows how cut-off from reality they are,” said a pilot.
“There is no such rule that pilots need to compulsorily make announcements in Hindi but being the national carrier, AI has certain responsibilities to promote the official language,” an AI official said.
“It seems the airline management is taking the job of promoting Hindi very seriously. AI should leave its pilots, who are professionals, to do their jobs, and instead concentrate on other matters that require immediate attention,” aviation expert Rajji Rai said.
Last month, the Prime Minister’s Office had sought a detailed report from the aviation ministry regarding the financial health of AI, which is saddled with a debt of Rs 40,000 crore and combined losses of Rs 36,000 crore.