Friday, July 27, 2012

Mr Minister, What Now?

Neelam Mathews
July 27, 2012

Now that the striking Air India pilots are being taken back, so much for the 'gutsy' minister of civil aviation who "refused to bend to the Air India pilots demands'! Aerospace Diary learns that the AI pilots may have got their way and it'll be back to training just Air India pilots and not the erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots on the 787s. Which, to most in the aviation sector, makes a lot of sense.

It is also likely that all the Airbus-trained  (IA) pilots who trained on the 787, will return to where they came from. So much for spilt milk ...I mean money.

Why then, was this drama enacted? And for whom? Air India in the past two traumatic months of a country's lifetime, has managed to further lose its image in the international market and given its customers a treatment they hardly deserve for being loyal to the carrier. It certainly brought a smile on its competitors lips who saw their yields spiral as customers frowned. 

Anybody with a bit of common-sense can see the rift between the two merged carriers is only deepening and seems to have reached a point of no return, where both sides feel they have been wronged. Nowhere is this stronger than between the pilots and engineers. So, God help when talks start for a merged engineering facility!

As for the three Boeing 787s awaiting the decision of an inept, arrogant and lethargic bureaucracy, one wonders how long it will be before they grace the tarmacs of our modern airports? Three to six months perhaps? Ofcourse, a decision on where they will fly still needs to be made!

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