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AI may be forced to shut or scale down flight ops on ground handling issues: Customer Experience head

AI may be forced to shut or scale down flight ops on ground handling issues: Customer Experience head

The letter by Head of Customer Experience and Ground Handling Operations at Air India Rajesh Dogra states that Air India will be forced to either discontinue or scale down AIASL ground handling ops for AI flights and look for arrangements.  

The letter stated that out of 5,203 flights in May, 11.9 per cent got delayed due to ground handling-related inefficiencies The letter stated that out of 5,203 flights in May, 11.9 per cent got delayed due to ground handling-related inefficiencies

Tata Group-owned Air India has flagged issues like continuous deterioration of ground handling services provided by Air India Airport Services Limited (AIASL) to Air India flights, as per an official communiqué sent to AIASL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Vikram Dev Dutt.  

As per Dutt's communiqué, a letter received from Rajesh Dogra, who is Air India's Head of Customer Experience and Ground Handling Operations, had stated that the carrier will be forced to either discontinue or scale down AIASL ground handling ops for AI flights and look for arrangements.  

He highlighted eight key points: increased ground handling delays at AIASL, perennial shortage of manpower, lack of systemic training interventions for staff, discourteous behavior with customers, old, inadequate and dysfunctional ground handling equipment due to ineffective maintenance, staff not in uniform or wearing jaded uniform, baggage mishandling and lack of effective governance by AIASL.  

Graphic: Pragati Srivastava

The letter stated that out of 5,203 flights in May, 11.9 per cent got delayed due to ground handling-related inefficiencies. He further underscored that shortage of manpower has not only impacted ground handling but also extended to terminal and ramp operations. This, in turn, has impacted check-in, boarding, baggage handling processes on an almost daily basis.  

Dogra stated, “We are getting large number of escalations across all channels highlighting delays as well as lack of professional handling of customers at AIASL handled airports. We are unable to accept this situation any longer as inefficiencies in the AIASL operations is severely impacting our services, goodwill and brand image.”

(With inputs from Poulomi Saha)