Air India has decided to end VIP culture among its own staff. Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani has asked its staff to carry their hand baggage on their own and not use porters as has been the practice so far.
“In line with the PM’s drive towards simplicity in public life let us to begin with shun the use of porters for carrying our hand baggage that our own hands should rightfully carry,” Lohani’s said in a WhatsApp message to senior officers of Air India.
Air India has a ground handling joint venture, named AISATS, which provides end-to-end services such as passenger and baggage handling, ramp handling, aircraft cleaning, load control and flight operations, cargo handling services, trans-shipment, express courier and special cargo.
Apart from all this, some of the staffs are reserved to assist VIPs and airline staff. They are called porters and carry luggage of the ‘VIP” passenger from the entry gate to the boarding point.
“Most of the AI staff used to avail this porter service. More than a dozen staff used to perform this duty every day. While for VIPs such as MP, the service will continue, the airline staff will be discouraged to use it. Even CMD will not use the porter service,” said an Air India official.
Air India has a staff strength of 14,000 and AISATS has 11,600. The airline hopes to save manpower by curtailing the porter services.
“If a staff is not well or wants assistance, he/she will be allowed to use the service and that is why we are not completely banning it,” said the official.