Air India mulls utilising engineers at foreign stations for non-engineering activities

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New Delhi | Published: November 22, 2018 9:32:21 PM

Air India plans to utilise its engineers posted in foreign countries for carrying out random checks of facilities and other non-engineering activities, according to a communication.

Air India, Pradeep Singh Kharola, AIESL, Air India business, latest news on air indiaAir India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national carrier, has around 5,000 employees.

Air India plans to utilise its engineers posted in foreign countries for carrying out random checks of facilities and other non-engineering activities, according to a communication. As the debt-laden carrier works on ways to revive its financial fortunes, its Chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola has mooted a proposal to utilise engineers “more efficiently” for the airline’s business overseas. Currently, Air India has posted engineers in Hong Kong, Austria and Australia where they mainly carry out certification of aircraft. In rest of the foreign stations, the airline has outsourced aircraft certification duties, as per a senior official.

Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national carrier, has around 5,000 employees. Out of them, 500 are engineers who carry out aircraft certification work. In an internal communication, Kharola said that engineers proceeding to foreign stations for aircraft certification are often under-utilised, especially where the flight operation is limited to three to four flights.

“I feel that this highly skilled manpower can be utilised more efficiently and add value to the Air India business at that station,” he said in the communication dated November 16. The Air India chief has suggested that such engineers can involve themselves in carrying out the random checks/ audits of the facilities/ equipment with the service providers that are used for the airline at the foreign stations concerned.

Another suggestion is to engage the engineers in efforts to improve ground handling and catering services at those places. Air India, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore, is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money and has been making efforts to reduce costs and optimise human resources. Kharola said another area of activity could be replies to the passenger complaints.

“On the days these engineers are not required to attend the aircraft, they can make themselves available in the booking offices and associate with the officers at the station for expeditious replies,” as per the communication. Further, Kharola has said that he would expect the engineers to be associated with some of the other marketing/ administrative activities at the foreign stations.

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