New Delhi: New Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi Thursday sought the support of all employees of ailing Air India in restoring its lost glory and said the staff and the management should work in coordination to achieve this.
"I am taking over from one of my best friends and colleagues Praful Patel who is responsible for making the aviation sector grow very fast. Thanks to him that there are many more private players and budget airlines," he said after taking over his new assignment at the Ministry headquarters here in the presence of Patel.
He said he would carry forward the policies and implement the programmes initiated by his predecessor and strive to bring about improvement in the financial position of Air India as well as the overall aviation sector.
Being a former trade unionist, Ravi said in this endeavour, "I solicit the cooperation of all trade unions. I am here to hear them and seek their cooperation. Among my priorities would be to improve Air India`s services, make it a profitable institution and restore its lost glory."
He said he would also be meeting the corporate leaders and other stakeholders in the civil aviation sector shortly, listen to their issues and seek their cooperation. "The employees and the corporates are like my two hands".
Asked about the problem of alleged cartelisation by airlines on airfares, Ravi said Patel had taken "very strong step when there were complaints (of high fares). I will follow his footsteps and not allow such things to happen".
"Earlier, I used to watch things (in the sector) as a passenger. That experience will help me now (as a Minister)," he said.
The veteran Congress leader from Kerala said he would meet the officials, the corporates in the sector and the employees representatives before deciding on policy issues.