Is Air India ready for B787? ask MPs

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2011

Air India should make sure that it has the crew and the bookings for the flights that the Boeing 787 will operate before the first aircraft arrives later this year.

This was the opinion of various members at the first meeting of the Consultative Committee attached with Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Coming down heavily on the airline management, former Civil Aviation Minister and member of the consultative committee, Mr Rajiv Pratap Rudy, demanded that the present the Air India Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Arvind Jadav, be relieved from his duty immediately.

He along with other MPs demanded an investigation to find out the factors responsible for the current mess in the national carrier.

Air India has debt of about Rs 46,000 crore, while the accumulated losses have crossed Rs 20,000 crore. In terms of market share, Air India has fallen to fifth place.

According to Mr Rudy, Air India is likely to receive the first B787 in October, two in November, while the fourth one is expected to arrive in December. There has been a delay of almost three years in the delivery of the aircraft.

Mr Rudy claimed that while he raised the issue of cabin crew availability and booking for routes to be operated by the B787, he did not get any answers.

He apprehended that if preliminary works have not been done, then the cash-strapped carrier might have to ground newly acquired aircraft.

If this were to be happen it would not be the first time in the airline's history that new aircraft have been grounded. Some years ago, the airline had to ground its new Boeing 777 as it did not have enough crew to operate flights.

Other MPs wanted to know why Air India was losing money on routes on which private airlines were making money.

> Shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on July 21, 2011

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