Date: 07 May 2011


In a message dated 07/05/2011 11:50:08 GMT Standard Time, writes: Subject: FW: An Earnest Appeal to our Valuable Passengers & the General Public of India. - A Letter from the Pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines. Save Air India \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Posted By: Save AirIndia To: Members in Save Air India \\\\\\\\\\ An Earnest Appeal to our Valuable Passengers & the General Public of India. - A Letter from the Pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines. \\\\\\\\\\ SAVE AIR INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION \\\\\\\\\\\ “Earnest Appeal to our Valuable Passengers & the General Public of India” \\\\\\\\\\ We the Pilots of Air India sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to our valuable passengers. Unfortunately, as with yourself, this strike was also imposed upon us. The corrupt and inept management of this Airline has indulged in rampant corruption, gross irregularities and blunders for many years and always blamed the pilots and its employees for it. We have reached a saturation point where we cannot be mute spectators to it anymore. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Let it be known, that the downfall of Air India was not an impulsive single act of forced copulation, it was systematic and long - drawn out; the traumatized National Carrier suffered severe and sustained assault over several years. Many a Parliamentary Committee’s highlighted how the crime was planned and executed and suggested who was responsible, but our political and administrative masters were and remain unmoved. \\\\\\\\ Therefore, we demand that action be taken against those who have brought this organization to its knees - a company that was making a profit of 55 crore till the year 2007, mysteriously converted into a loss of 40,000 crore in four years. We also demand your support for the Government to initiate a CBI inquiry into the multiple scams that plague this Airline and the Airline industry as a whole in India. \\\\\\\\\\ We, as professionals have only done our jobs more than 100% and we expect to be treated with some degree of professionalism and dignity. \\\\\\\\\ Yes, today Air India remains a festering sore and still Mr. Arvind Jadhav continues to remains at the helm of affairs as the CMD. We bring to your notice some of the irregularities & blunders caused by the present and past Governments / managements of Air India, as prime facie evidence: \\\\\\\\\\\ • One of the most startling policy decisions, and one that has certainly contributed to the mammoth hole that the National Carrier finds itself in, was the decision to merge the 2 carriers, Air India and Indian Airlines: the argument given was that this would allow an entry into the Star Alliance which it was promised would be the silver bullet to end all of the National Carriers problems. No explanation was given on why the Star Alliance alone was chosen from amongst others. The merger was totally ill-conceived, ill-planned and which had been rejected time and again by earlier Governments, has till date not been effected in any profitable manner. The amalgamation remains a myth and no efforts to resolving the complex issues of merger have even been initiated till now. An independent agency needs to be constituted to inquire into this blunder and find out who benefited from this decision. \\\\\\\\\\\ • Fleet acquisition scam: Air India had made a request for 24 aircraft in the MCLR category (Medium Capacity Long Range) and even initially selected the Airbus A340-300. Indian Airlines on the other hand had wanted a total 43 new Airbuses to replace the existing fleet of Airbuses they already operated: that’s a total of 67 aircraft. The minister, for reasons best known to him decided that the number just wasn’t enough. So the actual order placed was for a whopping 111 aircraft, instead of the combined total requirement projected by both the airlines of 67. How could an Airline with a turnover of a little over 7000 crores place orders for aircraft costing over 32000 crores? The interest burden per year alone would come to 6000 crores! Another stupefying factor was the complete lack of transparency in the order process. Rules were being bent and changed to benefit one manufacturer (Boeing) for reasons that are still not entirely clear. This is a scam of mammoth proportions and needs to be investigated by the CBI. \\\\\\\\\\\\ • 32 Profitable Routes mainly in the Gulf and Singapore sectors which were going nearly 85-100% full were curtailed in the name of route rationalization and it’s no surprise to see that the AI / IC flights had been replaced, one for one, by Kingfisher and Jet, at exactly the same timings as the erstwhile AI / IC flights! On 12th October 2009, the management sent letters to station managers in Kozhikode, Cochin, Doha, Sharjah and Bahrain informing them of a decision to reduce or cut flights on these sectors. Other routes which saw exactly similar dynamics at work: Chennai-Colombo (just in time for Spice jet to start operations on the route), Kolkata-Bangkok (Kingfisher started barely a week after IC was made to pull out), Kolkata-Singapore and London-New York! What can explain these decisions? Who was pressurizing the management to do so? And why? \\\\\\\\\\ • A management consultancy service was hired at a price of 90 crores to advise Air India on how they should restructure their operations. The contract was awarded to; hold your breath, Accenture Consulting: a company with close links to the UB and USL Groups which own Kingfisher, and which had previously worked on the acquisition of Air Deccan by Kingfisher! \\\\\\\\\\\\ • This CMD has accused the pilots and the employees, for the Airlines losses a number of times; citing reasons that pilots/ employees repeatedly keep on going on strikes. Let it be known that during this CMD’s tenure which spans over a period of 2 years, the Airline has seen the most turbulent of times and gone through as many as four strikes. Why? It has become obvious that majority of the ills that befall this Airlines are due to the inexperience of the CMD in running an Airline, his faulty policy decisions, mismanagement and his one point agenda of blaming the pilots on everything that ails the Airlines and his divide and rule method of governance. To this end he has spread, at the Airlines' expense, canards and half-truths regarding the salary of the pilots and their terms and conditions of service. Despite 90% of flights having been cancelled, the CMD still continues to reiterate that he is managing to maintain services to facilitate the passengers. The entire blame and fault for the inconvenience caused to the passengers and the public lies squarely on the shoulders of the CMD. We demand an independent enquiry. \\\\\\\\\\\\ • The Five Boeing 777 and three Airbus’s 310 Aircraft which were taken on lease were on the ground with no Pilots to fly them. The loss incurred was 840 crore. Who is responsible for this faulty decision? \\\\\\\\\\\\ • The Airbus Fleet has been under-utilized (used only) for 8.5 hours per day compared to a worldwide utilization for instance of 14 - 15 hours a day. How can revenue ever be generated? Who is responsible for this major lapse? \\\\\\\\\\\ • Foreign pilots have been hired by Air India and Air India Express at exorbitant salaries and that too in foreign exchange, when we are available to fly 90 hours a month which due to some of the reasons mentioned above has been curtailed to approx 45 hours a month. Why hire Foreign pilots (from specific agency owned by an erstwhile Director of Air India) when we are available? The reasons are clear, KICKBACKS! This is similar to the CWG scam! \\\\\\\\\\\\ • Cabin Crew Shortage: In the name of reduction of work force, Cabin Crew in AIR INDIA were either sent on long leave or were given voluntary retirement. This created a shortage leading to delays and cancellation of several flights over the last one and a half years. No steps were initiated by the management to overcome this shortage. Why? \\\\\\\\\\\\ • Land in Kalina, Mumbai: AIR INDIA’s 219 acres of land at Kalina, Mumbai, was a prized property and had great market value of around Rs 500 crore per acre the total value coming to 109500 crores(one lakhs, nine thousand and five hundred crore) nearly as big as the 2G scam. However, this land was gifted to MIAL. Why? \\\\\\\\\\\\ • Official Residence of the CMD (Vasant Vihar, D1, New Delhi): Rent paid by AIR INDIA Ltd. and Hotel Corporation of India, collectively (rent is in Six figures). For a bleeding Airline does this make sense? The CMD wants to curtail passages given to the employees who serve their whole working life in the Airline. Why is it that the CMD and other Management staff and officials of this Ministry have given onto themselves and their families free passages not only during the tenure with the Airlines but for Life? How is it that Praful Patel before moving out of this Ministry gave onto himself unlimited passages for family and friends for life and the authority to drive onto the tarmac, up to the Aircraft, a privilege only extended to a select few as specified by the Government of India? \\\\\\\\\\ • All the Property Deals of Centaur Hotels: Various properties of Hotel Corporation of India (Centaur Hotels) were sold to “tainted” firms, one such deal in under investigation. \\\\\\\\\\ • Air Call Center and other conflicts of interest: Until 2009, the call center for Indian Airlines was being run by a firm called Omnia International. In 2009 however, a decision was taken, at the ministers behest, to award the contract to run the call center to, hold your breath, Interglobe Technologies (the parent company of Indigo Airlines) the main competitor to Indian Airlines! Imagine this: outsourcing your call center operations to be run by a competitor? Why? \\\\\\\\\\\ • There are 4 different wage/ allowance/ uniforms/ service conditions and agreements of all employees. Since 1st April 2007 (date of merger) Air India has not managed to implement one common agreement or one common code of conduct. What kind of merger is this? The erstwhile IA Pilots pay is linked to the number of hours they fly an aircraft unlike the AI Pilots who are paid a fixed salary which is far in excess of what the IA Pilot gets, for doing the same job and now in the same Airline. \\\\\\\\\\ As mentioned earlier, due to faulty and motivated decision of the Management, the IA Pilots salary has been reduced by almost 50 % due to their flying hours having been drastically reduced. Merger was supposed to bring parity in the pay of all pilots but even after four years this has not been addressed in spite of all assurances given by the Management and a letter signed by the CMD to the effect that the parity is justified and will be implemented. And yet, now for some inexplicable reason, after our going on strike with due warning, this matter has been referred to a Committee which has been given 5 months to put up its recommendations! The question over here is, isn’t the management capable of taking decisions? \\\\\\\\\\\\ • Justice Dharmadhikari Committee was formed after the Strike notice of 23rd Feb 2011. The committee conducted its first meeting on 26th April 2011. It took the Strike Notice to form a committee, and a Strike, for the (Strike) Committee to meet. Further, which committee in India has finalized its report within stipulated time and does this require 5 months for a decision already taken to be implemented? Do you think the management is serious about resolving these issues? \\\\\\\\\\\ • The cost of interest payment per day is around 20 crores. Why did AI not take loans from the manufacturer at much lower rate? While ordering Aircrafts from Airbus and Boeing, MOU’s that were signed, their terms and conditions were changed in the final agreement? Why? \\\\\\\\\\ • Protecting Tainted Officers: According to The Central Vigilance Commission the CMD protected a tainted officer Mr. P. Easwachandran of Hotel Corporation of India (HCI). \\\\\\\\\\\ • Why are Airlines some selected staff being reemployed after retirement? Does the CMD need a coterie around him to do his bidding? \\\\\\\\\\\ • The Pilots, Engineers and other ground staff are the backbone of the Airlines. Why is it that the CMD is deliberately trying to break up the unions and associations and also targeting the executive pilots for, like Oliver Twist, daring to ask for parity in salary as promised? Are they also not pilots and flying aircrafts? What is most inexplicable is the adamant attitude of the Honorable Minister, who we look up to help resolve issues fairly and see what actually ails the Airlines and bring those responsible for this sorry state of affairs to book. Regrettably, he has chosen to go with the Managements draconian decisions and methods to grind the Airlines to the ground and not even listen to the plight of the core group of the Airlines. \\\\\\\\\\ So now Ladies and Gentlemen can you appreciate why we Pilots are on the warpath against what you call a corrupt and inept management that is destroying Air India at the behest of private carriers, and this is only the tip of the iceberg, what more lies hidden that we don’t know about is any ones guess. How long will we continue to be indifferent to this malaise? \\\\\\\\\\\\\ THE WAKEUP CALL HAS ALREADY BEEN GIVEN BY SHRI ANNA HAZARE, AGAINST CORRUPTION IN THIS COUNTRY. IT IS TIME THAT WE OPENED OUR EYES TO ANOTHER GREAT CAUSE OF SAVING A GREAT AIRLINE WHICH HAS BEEN THE PRIDE AND JOY OF THIS COUNTRY AND ITS EMPLOYEES FOR OVER SIX DECADES. WE APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC OF THIS COUNTRY TO STAND BY US IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN THIS AIRLINE BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Call to Action Support the cause. Be counted: I Read This 000000000