Air India’s Rs 3.75 attempt to the dress up the Maharaja’s gloomy image with smarter uniforms has failed to take off.
Flight pursers operating the loss-making airline’s international flights continue to don old uniforms because their new trousers are ill-fitting. Sanctioned more than a year ago, flight pursers are saying that a significant number of the new trousers need alterations. They were supposed to switch to the new uniform — a white shirt and a black trouser — in August 2009. The women crew has switched to their new uniforms — a blue saree and jacket — last year.
“I have had two to three trials but the new pants were either too tight or too long,” said an airline official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media. HT spoke to at least four other airline employees working with the national carrier and they had similar experiences. Air India spokesperson did not respond to an email asking him the reason behind the delay or if any action has been taken to rectify the error.
The airline has conducted several trial sessions for the male attendants. As per the requirement of the crew, the trousers were sent back to the tailor. “I have lost count of the number of times the pants have been sent for alteration,” said another employee adding, “Alteration charges add to the bill.”
Airlines sources said the investment for a wardrobe change was part of the airline’s strategy to recover losses of more than Rs. 5000 crore termed as the “turn around” by the Prime Minister’s office.
“The whole purpose of investing tax payers money is defeated because nobody is being made accountable for the delay,” added another airline staff. Two other private airlines such as Jetlite and Indigo Airlines also changed the crew uniform last month without any such glitch.