The “Vande Bharat Mission,” which was launched by the Government of India, in order to return stranded citizens to India has proved to be life line for Air India which is in huge debts. This mission helped the airline get enough cash flow to sustain this pandemic, as it was the only airline which was flying both international and domestic flights during the nationwide lockdown.
Air India Boeing 777 landing in Auckland on a repatriation flight from India. Photo by Ernest Leung | AeroNewsX
Despite this, Air India has introduced a new policy for its employees named the “Shorter working week scheme”. This scheme is available to its permanent employees (except pilots & cabin-crew), wherein an employee can work for 3 days a week and take 60% of their salary. They have also decided on a condition in which an employee who opts for this policy cannot work for any other organization during the remaining time of the week.
Furthermore, in an official statement. an Air India spokesperson said: “The permanent employee who opts for such a scheme can avail this for a period of one year.”
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry has taken a huge hit. Airlines across the globe have taken various measures such as laying off employees and reducing their fleets' size in order to stay afloat.
Air India has huge debts and the government has been trying to divest its stake in the airline for a long while now. However, as a result of the current situation, the government has been forced to hold back on its privatisation plans for now.
Separately, Union Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, announced that Air India will add 300 more flights to its “Vande Bharat Mission” in the next phase. Air India has already operated 581 inbound flights and 589 outbound flights to date.