Employees of a transport services firm employed at Thiruvananthapuram airport have approached the Central Vigilance Commissioner alleging corruption in the manner in which Air India was trying to hand over ground handling and cargo handling to the Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd (SATS).
Since 2004, the Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, is doing ground handling at the Thiruvananthapuram airport.
In a letter addressed to the CVC, the AIATSL employees said that Air India earns a revenue of around Rs 43 crore every year from ground handling at the airport here.
After meeting the annual expenditure of Rs.36 crore, Air India earns a profit of Rs 7 crore from the Thiruvananthapuram station alone.
"We request you to conduct an enquiry to find the corrupt hands involved in this. We also request to enquire whether proper tender procedures/bidding process were done before declaring SATS as the joint venture of the national carrier for the Thiruvananthapuram Airport," reads the petition.
The move of AIATSL employees comes at a time when the Director General of Civil Aviation and director board member of Air India, EK harath Bhushan recently revealed that the newly-formed AI-SATS (Air India-Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd) had not got clearance of the Air India board of directors for ground handling at Thiruvananthapuram airport.
The AIATSL employees have also brought this to the attention of chief minister Oommen Chandy who has promised to take up the issue with the officials concerned.