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“Disinvestment May Enable Sustainability”: Air India Chief Ashwani Lohani’s Open Letter

'Disinvestment May Enable Sustainability': Air India Chief Ashwani Lohani's Open Letter

National carrier Air India has a debt pile of around Rs. 58,000 crore

Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani has said that the airline’s management shares the concerns of its employees and is taking necessary steps to protect their interests. In an open letter addressed to the airline’s employees, Mr Lohani wrote: “It is but natural that many of you would be concerned about the future in light of the disinvestment scenario as any change in ownership brings about changes in the work culture and environment.” The letter from Air India’s top management to its staff comes at a time when the ailing national carrier is facing financial stress, sitting on a debt pile of around Rs. 58,000 crore.

Here’s the full text of Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani’s letter to employees:

Dear Air Indians,

I am writing this letter to you in the backdrop of the ongoing government initiative towards disinvestment of Air India. As you all are aware Air India has been going through an extremely stretched financial situation, primarily due to huge debt servicing liabilities that has been affecting the airline. The position gets compounded due to legacy issues and the constraining environment that being a PSU, we are forced to live with. Being an airline we function in a highly competitive environment, an environment in which our competitors are not constrained by the procedures, restrictions and oversight that we at Air India face placing us at a handicap both financially as well as operationally.

You would appreciate that the above scenario constrains our sustainable survival with disinvestment perhaps emerging as a viable alternative. It may enable sustainability as well as help in attaining the full inherent potential of the national carrier, thereby also helping the nation in attaining its economic goals.

At this juncture, despite considerable constraints, it is essential that Air Indians as always continue to put in their best efforts in their area of responsibility. Air India has always been known for its excellent human resource that has often set examples for others to emulate. It is only because of the commendable efforts of the entire team that we have in the recent past been able to launch many new flights in the international as well as domestic sectors, besides other initiatives that have enhanced the image of the airline. It gives me confidence that Air Indians will continue to give their best with utmost sincerity and dedication that they have always been known for.