Debt-ridden Air India plans to get its engineers posted in foreign locations— such as Hong Kong, Austria and Australia— to help with random checks of its facilities and also get involved in other non-engineering activities. The move is aimed to make more efficient use of its engineers for its foreign business. These engineers are presently underutilized, especially in locations where the flight operation is limited to just a handful of flights.
In most of its foreign stations, Air India’s certification duties are outsourced, except in Hong Kong, Austria and Australia. Air India Engineering, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, has about 5000 employees, out of which 500 are engineers who certify aircraft.
It is reported that the Airline will get its engineers involved in performing random checks and audits of the facilities and equipment with the service providers of the Airline at the foreign stations.
It has also been suggested that the engineers be engaged to improve the ground handling and catering services at these foreign locations. Their help may even be sought in responding to passenger complaints, assisting with booking office activities and operations in the administrative and marketing departments.
This move is an apt one, and comes at the right time too considering that Air India, is burdened by a debt of over Rs 50,000 crore, and has been sustaining itself on taxpayers’ money for some time now.