Earlier this week, a letter issued to the trainee cabin crew selected members said: “ … in view of the current aviation scenario, it would not be possible for Air India to impart any further training to you for engaging your services. In view of above reasons, which are beyond the control of the company, it has been decided to discontinue your training arrangement and dispense with the offer of engagement with immediate effect. The bank guarantee furnished by you at the time of joining is returned herewith.”
Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates
AI had been facing a severe shortage of cabin crew last year due to which its flights were getting impacted. On November 25, 2019, a batch of 174 trainees were given conditional job offers and were to be taken on board one successful completion of their course. But the corona impact on travel changed everything.
“However, your name is being kept in our data base as and when company decides to go for open recruitment, you may be intimated of the same to facilitate you to participate in the process … we thank you for your cooperation and trust you will appreciate the circumstances under which we are constrained to discontinue the training arrangement,” the AI personnel department letter to the trainee cabin crew adds.
AI has given some some money in lieu of notice period. For example the letter to this particular trainee was accompanied with a cheque of Rs 15,020.
The travel industry is among the worst hit by the epidemic. Several airlines abroad have got significant bailouts from their respective governments. India is yet to give any relief to its airlines.
More on Covid-19
Schedule international flights to and from India were suspended on March 22 and are yet to resume. Domestic flights, which resumed on May 25, are operating at about one-third of the originally approved summer schedule due to the low demand for travel.
Except IndiGo, no other Indian carrier has any cash reserve to speak of. Many of them are struggling to survive. AI’s debt-cum-liabilities combined burden is almost Rs 90,000 crore. The government had last year made it clear that AI may have to shut down if its ongoing divestment process is not successful, meaning it does not get a buyer.
The timeline for Air India’s divestment has been extended by two more months due to the pandemic. The deadline for submitting expression of interest and intimating qualified bidders is now August 31, 2020, (instead of June 30 earlier) and September 14 (from July 14), respectively.