The loss-making airline Air India is in talks for 76% stake sale through disinvestment. In other words, this government-owned airlines will get privatised if things go as per plan. Yesterday, there was a protest against privatisation by Air India staffs at the airline’s Kalina office.
The protest was for half an hour and was against the government’s plan of disinvestment. Fearing job loss and cuts in salary or benefits, a group of staff shown their protest.
In the protest meeting union – Joint forum for Air India unions-guild-associations made the staffers aware of the impact of the move made by Government.
Air Corporation Employees Union, All India Service Engineers’ Association, Air India Employees Union, Aviation Industry Employee Guild, Air India Aircraft Engineers’ Association, All India Aircraft Engineers’ Association, Air India Engineers Association and United Air India Officers Association and Aviation Industry Employees Guild are the part of the forum.
The expression of interest (EOI) has been sought by Ministry of Civil Aviation, for 76% stake sale in the Air India as well as divestment of Air India Express and AI-SATS.
The members of the forum are raising a question on the timing of the EOI. As per them, the Air India started making operating profit and soon it will turn in to a profitable organisation. Selling the ownership is not required.
Jayant Sinha, Junior Minister for Civil Aviation, had confirmed in the parliament this year “Air India’s operating profit for the financial year 2016-17 was Rs 298.03 Crore.” This statement supports the claim of the Forum members.
It had got a bailout package of little more than Rs 30,000 crore, during previous government rule. In past years the airline is struggling with the performance and losses.