Still up in the air | india | Hindustan Times
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Still up in the air

It would seem the Maharaja is looking for a captain. But no takers for this once-prized crown.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2011 20:28 IST

The Maharaja is in a mess and, if news reports are to be believed, the public sector company is looking for a new captain to replace the poor man who is struggling in the cockpit, Arvind Jadhav. Unsurprisingly, there are no takers for this high-flying job, once considered the height of India’s babudom.


So for those who are even contemplating a touchdown at the ministry of civil aviation, here is a bird’s eye view of the responsibilities: manage six different companies (the airline, AI Express, Alliance Air, Hotel Corporation of India and allied functions of ground handling and maintenance, repair and operations). Feeling frazzled already? Here are some more that he or she will inherit: not a fat bank balance, but a loss of Rs 51,000 crore and the tricky merger problems of the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines. While these are all a part of the daily routine, there are a couple of challenges that come about cyclically: strikes by pilots and airline staff.

Understandably, the new person will need some extra special skills to survive. Here are a few we could think of: The person should be below 65 years and should have oodles of energy and patience because from the minister to the ground staff, everyone is already waiting with a long list of their demands; diplomatic skills to handle the conflicting demands of different stakeholders (except the people who use the services of the company), the charm of a nubile nymphet because it will not be easy to fend off important people who are always looking for free tickets. He should also be a superior salesman with an ability to sell a refrigerator to an Inuit. Last but not the least, any knowledge of minute-by-minute crisis management will be highly valued.

If interested and to have a confidential conversation about this role, please contact Vayalar Ravi, minister for civil aviation, Government of India.