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Nandan effect? Air India flights turn punctual

india Updated: Sep 26, 2011 01:29 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times
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State-owned Air India (AI) is achieving the unthinkable. For the past five days its On-Time Performance (OTP) in Delhi — where the airline handles its maximum departures of over a 100 per day (14,000 seats) — has touched 100%.

The average OTP for flights from Delhi for September has been 96%.

The OTP for Mumbai has been equally good. The airline’s load factors and yields have also seen a dramatic increase. The turnaround in the airline’s performance, plagued with a host of problems, comes within a month of the new chairman and managing director (CMD), Rohit Nandan taking charge.

Nandan’s main emphasis since taking charge has been customer-satisfaction, his colleagues said. “Nandan has been monitoring the OTP personally,” an official said. “He meets senior officials thrice a day — the last at 9 pm — for this purpose.”

“One thing the new CMD needs to do is to remove cobwebs,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member of a government committee on aviation safety. “People responsible for the messing of safety rules should be removed. He has to bring in fresh blood with positive outlook and remove the chamchas.”

His hands-on approach came in for praise from aviation minister, Vayalar Ravi, at an AI review meeting on September 22. “The airline’s OTP across the network was over 80% this month. Passenger revenue went up by 12.3% (from Rs 889 crore to R998 crore), the network Passenger Load Factor (PLF) increased from 67.7% to 70.3%,” another official said.

The operational losses have been steadily coming down from R507 crore in April 2011 to R266 crore in August, showing an improvement in the operational performance.