News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff News  All News  » Business » Air India staff asked not to fly on weekends

Air India staff asked not to fly on weekends

Last updated on: April 18, 2011 10:29 IST

Aneesh Phadnis & Mihir Mishra in Mumbai

Between April 15 and June 15, employees of Air India will not be able to travel for work or leisure on the airline's flights on weekends.

The reason for the directive, the first of its kind by the airline, is that Air India does not want its own staff to occupy seats that can be sold to fare-paying passengers.

In an office order issued on Monday, Air India general manager (personnel) S U Shukla said, to improve the revenue yields on weekend (Friday-Monday) flights, it was necessary to make available more seats, otherwise blocked for SOL (staff on leave) and SOD (staff on duty) travel.

"In view of the summer holidays, markets are changing and there is a huge demand for travel on weekend flights even extending to Monday. It is observed from data from other airlines that yields on these days are two-three times higher," the order said.


Air India staff asked not to fly on weekends

The order adds SOD and SOL travel will not be permitted on these days from April 15 to June 15.

Only those who have flight duties, such as cockpit crew, cabin crew or engineers, will be allowed to travel in the SOD category.

The restrictive order has surprised the staff. "In any case, employees' SOL travel is subject to load. What is the need of banning it altogether?" a staffer asks.

An airline source said: "In the past, there were restrictions on the staff to avail of SOL tickets on certain routes like Bangkok or Singapore during the holiday season. However, a complete ban was not there.

Also, with the new passenger reservation system, the airline can easily create a new class of booking for staff travel and fix a quota."

Adding: "It is not clear whether it means a complete ban. The airline will have to allow staff to travel if it wants them to report for an important meeting or work," he added.


Air India staff asked not to fly on weekends

The order directs administrative sections of all departments to make necessary arrangements for travel between Tuesday and Thursday, besides instructing station managers to submit data on additional revenue generated to the regional headquarters.

A senior official said the airline had issued an advisory.

"What is wrong if the airline management takes such a decision? The priority should always be revenue passengers. We found employees were internally blocking large number of seats, leaving little for sale.

There is not going to be a complete ban. This is an advisory. If an employee has to travel on emergency, he or she will be allowed to do it."

Source: source