Six months after joining Air India (AI) as its first chief operating officer (COO), Gustav Baldauf is likely to be sacked for indiscipline for alleging government interference in the national carrier’s operations.
Government sources told HT that a case of violation of the code of conduct had been made out against Baldauf. AI has already served him a show-cause notice.
Baldauf, who has over 25 years of experience in the industry, said, “I was talking about certain people in the government, and not the government as a whole.” Asked if would resign, Baldauf said, “People are pushing me to quit, but I won’t.”
Sacking on disciplinary grounds means that the government would have to pay him half his remuneration — about R4 crore — for the remaining period of his contract.
“There can be no justification of airing views through the media... He could have approached the AI chairman. Can a public servant dare speak against his ministry and still carry on?” an official questioned.
Baldauf's appointment on a R3.1 crore-a-year remuneration had created resentment among employees of the airline.