May 31, 2020
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'We Have To Pull Up Our Socks'

Anil Baijal is an old hand at aviation. As joint secretary, ministry of civil aviation, he has overseen policy. Now as chairman and managing director, Indian Airlines, he is expected to implement policy. As member of the joint Air India-Indian

'We Have To Pull Up Our Socks'
Priority: My emphasis will be to increase our market share and capitalising our strengths in a competitive environment. The main objectives obviously are to improve productivity and raise revenues.

Plans: Attitudes have to change. Our emphasis is going to be on making services more personalised. As you would appreciate, there is no limits on how much you can improve in the service sector. The sky is the limit. For instance, baggage handling is an important area that needs to be looked into. Now you need specialised handling of baggage. Passengers need to make last-minute changes which calls for better coordination between different wings of the airlines. I have already set up a Product Upgrade Group, a multi-disciplinary group that is going to look at all these aspects in detail.

Disinvestment: The rules of disinvestment are well laid down. The route for disinvestment for the two airlines (AI and IA) can be different. The government is looking into it. We are also looking at the Kelkar Committee report.

On IA's performance: Obviously there is a lot of scope for improvement here. On an issue like this, it is difficult to be happy at any stage. After all, if Air India can improve its on-time performance to as high as 85 to 90 per cent, there is no reason why IA cannot do it. Obviously it means, everyone including the CMD has to pull up his socks.

On the sacking of the board: I am new and am looking at things. I would not like to comment.

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