Air India defends concessional tickets for employees

Air India`s scheme is meant for its 24,000 serving employees and 20,000 retired ones.

IANS| Updated: May 30, 2014, 19:09 PM IST

New Delhi: National passenger carrier Air India on Friday defended giving promotional tickets to its employees, saying that it is obliged to do so under an International Air Transport Association (IATA) resolution.

"Air India wishes to clarify that Air India`s employees passage scheme is in tune with the IATA resolution 788 which provides for giving free and reduced fare transportation to an employee of an air carrier or to the employee`s immediate family members," the airline said in a statement. 

"Such passages are given only against vacant seats available and never at the cost of a revenue passenger, hence Air India does not lose anything on account of such concessional passages."

According to the airline, the employees who avail such facilities have to pay staff travel fare, passenger service fee and all taxes, including airport tax.

"In 2013, Air India has restricted the scope of family members and number of passages allowed to employees under the revised scheme," the airline said.

Air India`s scheme is meant for its 24,000 serving employees and 20,000 retired ones.

New Civil Aviation Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju Thursday said the government is looking into the matter.

Air India is likely to incur losses up to Rs 5,000 crore in the previous financial year and has an accumulated debt burden of Rs 40,000 crore.

It received a fresh equity infusion of Rs 5,000 crore in the interim budget for 2014-15.

The cash-strapped carrier will be provided a total infusion of around Rs 20,000 crore till 2020-2021 to turn around its operational and financial performance.

About reviving Air India, Gajapathi Raju had said: "I will discuss Air India`s situation with the prime minister. We will have to analyse the reasons for losses... is it competition or something else."