Following Protests by Air India passengers over recent flight delays, chairman of the national carrier, V. Thulasidas, urged the airline staff to pull up their socks. He also blamed rival airlines for leaking information about the flight delays to the media.
In a letter written on Thursday, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, Thulasidas has asked all Air India employees to set aside all ‘operational and personal’ issues and just work to ensure that all its flights fly on time.
Admitting that passengers were hugely inconvenienced during the flight delays, he said, “Our inability to operate flights on time has been a consequence of two factors – technical problems relating to some of the aircrafts and inadequate strength of pilots for one or two types of aircraft in our fleet.”
Thulasidas, however, admitted that passengers are concerned about reaching their destination in time and comfort and the operational constraints of Air India is not their concern.
“The onus is on us to ensure all our flights operate on time, and only this would counter the negative perception that has been formed about the airline,” he said.
Sources said that the airline is going install a coordination mechanism at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to ensure smooth operation of flights and fixing of accountability.
Thulasidas also said in the letter that as Air India is adding more aircraft to its fleet post its merger with Indian (Airlines), it has had an impact on ‘other carriers operating in a highly competitive environment’.
The competition, he said, prompted the rival airlines to leak out information about the delays to the media. However, in the same breath he continued that the others should not get an opportunity at the first place to point a finger at Air India if everything was in order.
He also said that Air India being the national carrier and with more flights than others, would have to show more responsibility towards its passengers.