New uniform work week at AI, plans afoot for better inflight feel

BUS

Five years after the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, the employees of both the erstwhile carriers will finally have same working hours and weekly holidays beginning December.

Hitherto, Indian Airlines employees had to follow a six-day working schedule while their Air India colleagues worked for five days a week, and were off on weekends.

"Our CMD has approved the report on integrating all operational functioning of the airline and follow the same norms. The airline board, which is likely to meet during November-end, will approve the integration and should be done by December," said a senior Air India official.

The official added that one of the key proposals is uniform working schedule for the corresponding category of employees. "All non-operational employees now will have to now work for five days and 44 hours in a week and those involved in operations will have a six day and 44 hours working schedule," he further said.

The national carrier has also decided on the merger of cabin crew, after which, they could be deployed on both long- and short-haul flights.

"There are various court orders on cross utilisation of cabin crew and we are examining them all. After our examination necessary decisions and orders, if any, required will be taken," said the official.

The airline is also working on a common announcement system on all its flights.

Meanwhile, to give its cabin crew a more contemporary and stylish look, Air India is also in the process of bringing in new uniforms from April next year, and has roped in the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. "We have asked the institute to come out with new designs for salwar kameez, sarees and western dresses," said the official.

Air India is also working on improving food on board. "Our food is our USP and plans are to upgrade it by adding country-specific menu in the international sector," the official said. Plans are also afoot to introduce a new spread for Dreamliner flights.

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