Some 20,000 employees of Air India have begun a three-day hunger strike over plans to cut their pay. The protest comes as the debt-ridden national carrier plans a series of drastic cost-cutting measures, which include productivity-linked bonuses by up to 50 percent.
The Indian government has thrown struggling national carrier Air India a lifeline by offering a financial aid package on condition it undertakes a “massive cost reduction” programme.The offer by prime minister Manmohan Singh follows his meeting with the airline’s new chairman and managing director, Arvid Jadhav.
Air India said it is looking to cut Rs5bn ($103m) in staffing costs, about 17 percent of its total wage bill, and desperately needs a government bail-out as it battles for survival.Arvind Jadhav, the recently appointed chairman and managing director, said the Indian national carrier had reached “the moment of truth”, and need to cuts about 17 percent of its total wage bill.
The Boeing Company and Air India today celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 777-200LR Worldliner airplane.