Air India Under Tata Won’t Give Any Free Tickets To Govt Employees; All Tickets Must Be Bought With Cash
When you are a government and you own a company whose finances are dwindling? It becomes imperative that you would do everything in your capacity to make sure that you have at least some assured source of revenue, right? This is exactly what the Government of India did for years. To keep a good flow of cash it had mandated the government of India employees to travel only with Air India. That may not be the case anymore.
Government employees are now free to travel with any airline of their choice
Recently, the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey announced that post handing over of Air India to the Tatas, government officials will be free to book their travel with any airline that offers them the best price.
Also, the Centre will not have a tie-up with any carrier.
“The government is not mandating travel by any particular airline, going forward, after handing over Air India because there won’t be any state-owned airline,” he added further.
The department of expenditure (DoE) will soon issue instructions to government departments for official travel as this needs to be done before handing over Air India to the Tata Group.
By December end Air India will be transferred to Tata Sons
According to sources, the government plans to hand over Air India to Tata Sons by December end. Tata Sons-backed special purpose vehicle (SPV) Talace has won the bid to buy out the government’s shareholding in Air India. Talace had placed a bid to acquire Air India?for Rs 18,000 crore, which involved retaining debt of Rs 15,300 crore of the national carrier, and a cash component of Rs 2,700 crore.
Till now, government officials had to seek permission from higher-ups to travel by other airlines in case tickets were cheaper there than what was offered by Air India. They were allowed to take other airlines if the national carrier’s flights were not operating on the routes concerned.
For leave travel concession benefits that central government staff is entitled to, the DoE will work out a policy. The Centre had notified all ministries and departments to clear dues of Air India immediately.
Also, according to the directive, the airline will also stop extending credit facilities for the purchase of air tickets to government employees. Now onwards, all tickets will have to be purchased in cash.
So, all in all, the decisions like these are giving us a glimpse into the beginning of a new era in the history of Air India.