The president of IndiGo airlines, Aditya Ghosh (pictured above), has told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture that young people from villages and small towns do not possess the talent to succeed in the consumer service industry.

“We have lot of young people with so many degrees but the talent we require is not there,” Ghosh told the panel headed by Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien. “IndiGo is hiring people from tier-II and tier III cities and creating jobs there. Those who studied in government schools or mohalla/village areas cannot be trained to speak fluent English within a span of four to five weeks.” The company is investing to train recruits from the smaller towns, Ghosh added.

The committee, which submitted its report on Thursday, said it “totally disagrees” with Ghosh, and pointed out that government schools and colleges produce some of the the best students in the country. “If a particular airlines has grown exponentially, they should deploy a proportionate amount to the training of their staff instead of misbehaving and manhandling the passengers or blaming the youngsters from tier II and III cities and government schools,” the Standing Committee said.

in October, an IndiGo staff member at New Delhi airport physically assaulted a passenger who had travelled from Chennai. On November 4, Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu accused an Indigo ground staff member of misbehaving with her when she was travelling from Hyderabad to Mumbai. The airline, however, rejected her claims.

The parliamentary panel said the air carrier should develop a friendly approach when dealing with their passengers and should “look inward and find out the reasons for the discourteous attitude and rude and indifferent behaviour of their employees”.

Overpriced tickets

The parliamentary panel criticised airline companies for charging exorbitant amount of money during festival and holiday seasons. “The committee has noticed reports of some private airlines creating long queues at the check-in counters to delay the process of check-in so that passengers miss their scheduled flights,” the standing committee report said. “This compels them to buy tickets at exorbitant prices to travel in the next available flight.”

Airlines, the panel noted, at times overbook their flights and later create “artificial situations to deny boarding to the confirmed ticket holders”. It said that the multiple pricing system followed by domestic airline companies may be followed globally but is unsuitable for India. The companies had also not passed on the benefit of 50% reduction in air traffic fuel to customers, the standing committee said.

The panel said that the private airlines arbitrarily decide the cancellation charges. “There is no uniformity or minimum standards to impose charges for rescheduling, cancellation and no-show,” it added. The Centre in November 2017 had ordered a review of penalties that airlines charge for cancelling tickets.