While he may be new to aviation, the appointment of Vayalar Ravi as India’s civil aviation minister has raised high hopes in the sector especially among Air India (AI) employees.
In an attempt to reach out to AI employees, Ravi, who took charge from Praful Patel on Thursday, sought their support to restore the lost glory of the flag carrier.
“It is my duty to talk to employees and I will do that. To make the services better, to improve working conditions and to make it profitable we need the full support of all workers,” Ravi told Hindustan Times.
Ravi said he would call all AI union leaders personally and speak to them. “They should know that the ministry is concerned about them. There shouldn’t be a feeling of alienation. I solicit their cooperation. I am here to hear them and seek their cooperation.”
The minister made it clear that he would carry forward with the policies and programmes initiated by Patel. “I will not tamper with existing systems.”
Calling AI the face of India’s aviation, the new minister said, “Among my priorities would be to improve AI’s services, make it a profitable institution and restore its lost glory."
He also spoke about increased connectivity to places like the north-east, the government’s intervention in case of cartelisation by airlines to increase fares, better facilities at airports across the country and dealing with passenger grievances.
The Kerala MP also said that he would also be meeting corporate leaders and other stakeholders in the civil aviation sector shortly, listen to their issues and seek their cooperation. "The employees and the corporates are like my two hands.”