Lohani's missive to came on a day a section of staff held a protest against proposed privatisation.
New Delhi: Air India chief Ashwani Lohan it oday assured employees their interests would be "safeguarded" as he sought to allay concerns over possible
layoff following the government's decision to sell its stake in the national carrier.
"I would like to reassure all my employees that during the process of disinvestment, the government and the airline management would like to safeguard your genuine and valid interests and ensure that suitable measures to this effect are put in place," Lohani, Air India's chairman and managing
director, said in a letter to the staff.
In was the first formal communication from the debt-laden airline's top management since the decision to privatise it was taken. Lohani also wrote that an ownership change will usher in a corporate culture where merit would be better rewarded.
The Air India boss' missive to its employees came on a day a section of the staff held a protest against its proposed privatisation over fear of large scale job losses. Noting that the government's decision to pull out of Air India was in the airline's best interest, Lohani wrote,"It is the firm conviction of the government that the process of disinvestment is only meant to make Air India a much stronger world class airline capable of competing with others successfully."
"This decision is primarily an offshoot of the inability of the airline to service the huge accumulated debt of over Rs 50,000 crore," he noted. Lohani said despite the government's decision to privatise the airline, Air India would explore ways to increase its market share and addition of new destinations to its network would continue "unabated".
The Union Cabinet late last month gave its in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India. A group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will finalise the modalities.