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Home > Business > Air India merger led to a mess: Ashwani Lohani

Air India merger led to a mess: Ashwani Lohani

In a hard hitting blogpost, Mr. Lohani said Air India now had a bureaucracy bigger than Indian Railways.

Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, has blamed the national air carrier’s woes on the merger with Indian Airlines that never took off as expected and previous bosses who pinned the responsibility on employees for its dismal state of affairs.

In a hard hitting blogpost, Mr. Lohani said Air India now had a bureaucracy bigger than Indian Railways.

Turmoil within
“Earlier I always believed that the great Indian Railways was the mother of all bureaucracies but not any longer. Here, at the national carrier, the ridiculousness of the process and the diehard belief therein has been carried to a mind boggling extent,” Mr. Lohani, who took charge of the national carrier on August 31 last year, wrote in a blogpost titled ‘The Turmoil Within – Continues.’

Air India merged with the erstwhile Indian Airlines in 2007 which led to several human resource woes and huge operational losses.

It posted its first operational profit, since the merger, in 2015-16.

‘Failed to fathom’
Mr. Lohani said he “failed to fathom” how the airline could ridicule its own employees and expect them to deliver at the same time.

“It makes me sad when the common employee is often blamed for the ills of the organization, in this case too, whereas the real reason for the debacle lies elsewhere, in my opinion on the head honcho,” the AI chief said.

Miles to go
The airline chief said although Air India is slowly getting back on track, there are “still miles to go before one can relax and watch the planes fly, albeit without the need to constantly worry and fret.”

Stressing that the mess in Air India “is by no stretch of imagination a minor one,” he concluded that the airline was moving ahead.

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