When Air India got kicked out of the Star Alliance even before it joined, I had a feeling that someone would be fired to fix the blame. And lo and behold, it did not take long for the Government of India to take a decision that it was the Chairman and Managing Director of the airline, Arvind Jadhav, a career bureaucrat who was not able to turn around the airline. So, this morning, it got into the news that he was removed from his post.
Air India was a profitable operation until 2005 when it got merged with Indian Airlines. Earlier, AI used to take care of the international market, while IC was the domestic carrier. The rationale for merger was economies of scale and access to the Star Alliance. However, what ended up happening was that the pay disparity at both airlines came to the fore, and created havoc. As a result, service quality went down and the airline had to spend more time on the ground handling employee issues than being in the air earning revenue.
To blame it all on one person seems unfair, because the constant meddling of the government seems to be the root cause of a turnaround that never happened!
What makes is worse, is the new appointment, which is an interim replacement to the outgoing boss! Rohit Nandan, who is another civil aviation bureaucrat in the Government of India, has been given additional charge to run the airline. This is a case of mixed up priorities for sure. Heck, this airline needs committed people to work on it for years at length to restore it to its former glory. And all it got is a part-time CEO who is going to kill it even more!