Pranab reviews Air India makeover plan, says reduce flab | india | Hindustan Times
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Pranab reviews Air India makeover plan, says reduce flab

With Air India seeking a Rs 5,000-crore bailout package from the government, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today reviewed the turnaround plan of the national carrier, including the steps it was taking to cut costs and improve savings.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2009 21:07 IST

With Air India seeking a Rs 5,000-crore bailout package from the government, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today reviewed the turnaround plan of the national carrier, including the steps it was taking to cut costs and improve savings.

Mukherjee was briefed on the issue by Civil Aviation Secretary M Madhavan Nambiar and Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav at a meeting in his North Block office, official sources said.

The Finance Minister is understood to have made it clear that any government assistance to the national carrier would come only after it took concrete measures to reduce flab and costs. He reiterated the position that the airline should take more initiatives to cut costs and enhance savings.

In this context, it was also pointed out that on an average a pilot of Jet Airways earned about Rs two lakh a month, whereas their Air India counterparts got between Rs 3-4 lakh which included the productivity-linked incentives, informed sources said.

The meeting came as the Civil Aviation Ministry started work on preparing a note for the Union Cabinet on a package for Air India, including infusion of additional equity and a soft loan to overcome its present crisis.

The Air India Board is expected to meet on Wednesday following which Jadhav is likely to address employees on the urgent need to tighten their belts.