12,224.55-127.8
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Priority is to pilot AI to old glory: Vayalar Ravi

Restoring Air India to its original glory and increasing connectivity to the North-East are the top priorities for the new minister for civil aviation, Vayalar Ravi. In an exclusive interview to ET, the minister says cartelisation will be dealt with firmly though pushing airfares down won't be an easy task in view of the increasing fuel prices.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 21, 2011, 05.43 AM IST
0Comments
Priority is to pilot AI to old glory: Vayalar Ravi
Restoring Air India to its original glory and increasing connectivity to the North-East are the top priorities for the new minister for civil aviation, Vayalar Ravi. In an exclusive interview to Anindya Upadhyay of ET, the minister says cartelisation will be dealt with firmly though pushing airfares down won't be an easy task in view of the increasing fuel prices. Edited Excerpts:

How do you see the airline industry? Is managing Air India your biggest challenge?

I've taken over a time when the sector is beset with many problems. In addition, there is also criticism about the safety aspect and customer service. The financial position of flag carrier Air India is also not that good. Together, these issues require a lot of work and it's not a one-man show. It requires team work and the support of officials, workers and stakeholders . My first priority is to gather all the required information and then come to my own conclusions.

What will be your approach to help Air India?

I'll first have a dialogue with all unions and seek their cooperation. I will call up each one of them and understand their issues on a personal level. I will also work very closely with the Air India management and intend to meet the company's CMD in a day's time. The airline needs a different strategy that should be implemented jointly. The approach should be to integrate all views and restore the airline to its original glory.

How do you see the role of the private sector in the industry?

I encourage it. I want to take a positive attitude and will take forward whatever steps Mr Praful Patel has taken. Private airlines are doing good service, especially the budget airlines . I intend to meet the corporates soon. They are catering to a major chunk of the Indian passengers so they can't be ignored.

There have been allegations of cartelisation to push up fares...

Cartelisation is not acceptable even in the biggest capitalist economies. I can understand demand-supply dynamics but not exploitation . I will stand by whatever steps the ministry has taken to counter these malpractices.

Will you try and push down airfares?

Pushing airfares down is not a simple task, especially when the ATF (aviation turbine fuel) price is going up. I think the government's position is right on it and I will be guided by that. While taking decisions on other issues, I will take the advice of the various committees such as the Economic Advisory Committee.

Will we see enhanced air connectivity to south India now that you have taken charge?

No. Now I have to keep the whole country in mind. In fact, North-East is a priority for me. I will encourage private players to provide services in that area.

Also Read

Vayalar Ravi re-elected to Rajya Sabha

Rajya Sabha polls in Kerala: Vayalar Ravi to be Congress candidate

3500 Indians in jails in Gulf countries: Vayalar Ravi

No plan for rehabilitation of Indian expatriates on return: Vayalar Ravi

Price rise not a "new phenomenon": Vayalar Ravi

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service