Cabin crew members of national carrier Air India will share hotel rooms from now on, and will be put up at three-star and four-star hotels instead of the more expensive five-star ones, The Times of India reported. The airline is looking to save Rs 10 crore annually by implementing these cost-cutting measures.
The measures will be first implemented for cabin crew members who joined the airline last year and will be extended to all the crew members gradually, The Economic Times reported. “The gender sensitivity issue is to be kept in mind while allotting rooms to the cabin crew,” Amrita Sharan, the airline’s Executive Director for crew management system, said in her order. This means that women will not be asked to share rooms with men.
The airline said that it would renegotiate its contracts with hotels to implement the new order. However, the employees’ union is not pleased with the decision. In a letter to the management, the All India Cabin Crew Association said the order was inhumane. “The cabin crew of Air India are at the forefront of passenger service and forms the backbone of the revival of our airline,” said association’s general secretary Sanjay Lazar. “Lest it be misconstrued, the cabin crew have made umpteen sacrifices above and beyond the call of duty, and will continue to work towards our turnaround, however it cannot be perceived as inequitable targeting.”
He claimed that cabin crew members had been denied 25% of their flying allowance for the past five years and 10% of the allowance from 2007.
Last week, Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha said the Centre would provide the airline funds to help pay salaries and maintain its operations after the company sought proposals for short-term loans worth Rs 1,000 crore from financial institutions and banks to meet its urgent working capital requirements. The government has also failed to attract bids for the sale of its 76% stake in the carrier.