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Air India bid to improve reliability

New Delhi, Sept. 3: Air India plans to revamp its operations to ensure better on-time performance.

The airline, which has been losing money, wants to regain its status as a leading airline and feels by improving its reliability it would command a better passenger load factor.

According to senior Air India officials, the airline was working hard on improving on-time performance of its flights, which had fallen to 71 per cent, lowest amongst all airlines in India.

Senior officials said the airline hoped to jack up its on-time performance to 81 per cent and to achieve it the airline might take drastic measures, including action against non-performing employees.

“Employees are being told that if the on-time performance does not improve in the next 15 days then action against anyone guilty of dereliction of duty would be taken. As improving the on-time performance is part of the turnaround plan, the management is not taking any chances to make sure that results are positive,” said a senior AI official.

Analysts said Air India employees were slow in clearing and loading aircraft and conducting passengers to seats.

Air India’s 70-72 per cent flights are on time, compared to Jet Airways’ 91.4 per cent, followed by IndiGo and Kingfisher, both of which had an on-time performance of 89-90 per cent in June.

DGCA data revealed only 71 per cent of Air India flights were on time in the same month, the lowest among all airlines.

According to officials close to new AI chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan, the idea is to increase on-time performance to 93 per cent in the next 60 days. The new CMD has also directed the airline to improve its in-flight service and cabin cleanliness.

Air India operates over 400 domestic and international flights every day. Senior officials claim that the national carrier suffers in punctuality because of its shorter “block time”.

“Our block time is shorter than that of private airlines. A block time commences when an aircraft moves on its own power for the purpose of flights and ends when it comes to rest after landing. This includes taxi plus airborne time,” the official said.

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