AI won’t pay staff, but spends Rs 12 cr on crockery
The promise of in-flight luxury could not have come at a worse time for the cash-strapped Maharaja. While Air India’s staff waits for salaries and the airline seeks a Rs 15,000-crore bailout package from the Centre, it has purchased crockery and cutlery for Rs 12 crore, reports Soubhik Mitra.india Updated: Jun 18, 2009 01:01 IST
The promise of in-flight luxury could not have come at a worse time for the cash-strapped Maharaja.
While Air India’s staff waits for salaries and the airline seeks a Rs 15,000-crore bailout package from the Centre, it has purchased crockery and cutlery for Rs 12 crore.
The new crockery and cutlery has been bought to go with its new menu introduced for business class travellers.
As per a notice issued by the airline’s deputy general manager (in-flight services) on May 29, the new menu and crockery were introduced in flights plying on the Mumbai-Delhi sector from June 1 and would be extended on other flights soon.
Hindustan Times has a copy of the notice. The existing crockery would be sold off as scrap.
“The company is making losses. They are asking for help from the government but the new chairman wants to change the crockery,” said an AI official, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The airline had last purchased crockery in 2007 for Rs 15 crore for the newly acquired Boeing 747 and 777 long-range fleet when V Tulsidas was the chairman.
However, most of the crockery was never used because they did not fit in the oven.
“We either use the oven or use the bowls because the plates do not fit in the oven. The microwave too lay useless because the crockery has gold plating,” complained a senior cabin crew member with the airline, requesting anonymity for lack of authority to speak to the media.
The airline had also bought expensive mugs to serve tea. “Very few fliers like to have tea in mugs. They lay useless,” he added.
Despite projected losses of Rs 5,000 crore, Air India also introduced new uniforms for its staff from this month.
An official Air India spokesperson said the airline could only reply when the department concerned reverts with an explanation, but he failed to specify when.
First Published: Jun 18, 2009 00:59 IST