Wednesday, October 7, 2009

AI Shows its "Class" again...

After being grounded for days, Air India staff showed that even 30,000 feet above sea level they cannot be counted on. The safety of numerous passengers travelling from Sharjah to Delhi via Lucknow was risked when four onboard crew — two pilots and two crew members — were involved in a brawl. The pilot and the steward have allegedly sustained injuries, and an airhostess has filed a case of sexual harassment against the pilots. Additional details are filtering out, some rumour, some fact: the pilot apparently had a history of bad behaviour, and he threatened to offload the entire crew in Karachi [That alone is an appalling threat :)))]. An inquiry has been ordered, but you do not need one to pass this judgment: this petty indiscipline threatened many lives, and injured the already-battered reputation of India's national carrier.

Airlines fly on their reputations for courtesy, efficiency and, above all, safety. However, the same might not be true for Air India — an airline that runs colossal losses, makes ill-thought-out acquisitions, is milked by management and its political masters, and whose pilots pretend to be ill to affect a blatantly illegal strike. This is a national carrier that is fast proving to be beyond reform. This fiasco only adds to the image of a badly-run excuse for an airline, with poor systems and unruly staff.

Air India is lethargic, ineffecient and unfit for service. AI does not deserve a bailout and it 'needs' to be grounded.