Several employee unions of Air India on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding waiver of the airline's loans and run it by a professional management. Against the backdrop of the government working out the modalities for Air India disinvestment, seven employee groupings have also said the carrier can be turned around.
"Air India has been reporting operational profit for as long as three years. Servicing the loans is a major challenge as the annual outgo is an upwards of Rs 4,000 crore," they said in a letter.
The letter has been signed by representatives of seven unions -- Indian Commercial Pilots' Association, Indian Pilots' Guild, Air Corporations Employees' Union, All India Cabin Crew Association, Air India Employees' Union, Indian Aircraft Technicians' Association and All India Aircraft Engineers' Association.
The unions have urged the government to consider waiving the credits and have the airline run by a professional management.
"We have immense faith, that taking these actions will indeed find Air India in the league of profit making carriers, once again.
"... Air India can be turned around and run successfully in the hands of professionals if the government intends for it to," the letter said.
Further, the unions said it is not true that the employees are to be blamed for the present situation.
"Majority of Air India's employees are highly competent and hardworking even to this day.
"Our national carrier has always been a promising one - minus the unfortunate decision makers of past governments -- and can still run effectively with the presence of a strong leader and new policies," they said.
According to them, the need of the hour is for Air India to be a board managed company run by professional managers like at ITC and L&T.