Pilots write to PM seeking CBI probe in Air India's decision

Air India plane
New Delhi, April 27: Holding Air India management responsible for the mismanagement and losses, striking pilots today (April 27) sought the Prime Minister's intervention and a CBI probe into the matter.

The Indian Commercial Pilot's Association (ICPA), which is spearheading the strike that has affected the flight operations, shot up a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh early today urging him to review the appointment of the "high headed and dishonest management" to restore the past glory of the airline.

"The Government of India has all the machinery and tools to investigate all the shortcomings of this management and hold them accountable. We, the ICPA, now demand a CBI inquiry or any appropriate body to inquire into the scams of the airlines," Rishabh Kapur, ICPA General Secretary said in the letter.

The ICPA demanded a CBI probe into cancellation and withdrawal of profitable routes and bilateral "given away" to either private airlines or foreign carriers, investigation of aircraft acquisition orders of 111 new planes between erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India.

The union wants a probe into under utilisation of aircraft and various facilities like engine overhaul shops at Delhi and Mumbai, training and simulators at Central Training Establishment in Hyderabad, "which are causing loss of revenue and extra cost to company".

Alleging that management's shortcomings have led Air India, once the "nations pride", to "run into deep waters and now it is even struggling to stay a float".

They said that prior to merger, Air India and Indian Airlines were having a loss Rs 455 crore and Rs 280 crore respectively and within three years it has escalated to Rs 16,000 crore that too despite hiring consultancy firm Deloitte at a cost of Rs 90 crore.

Terming the management as ''incompetent'' who are ''sabotaging the future of the airline'', Kapur alleged that "the intention of the management seems very well scripted to buy new airplanes, upgrade the machinery (like SITA, SAT, IOCC) at a whopping Rs 800 crore) and kill the morale of the employees so that they agitate, making way to sell the airline in distress." He also said that employees and pilots have low morale because of victimisation, favouratism and "dictatorial behaviour". 


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