Cash-Strapped AI To Force Flight Attendants To Share Hotel Rooms

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Troubled Air India has decided to downgrade its flight attendants’ accommodation in hotels from five- to three-star hotels. Not only that, they will also be required to share rooms.

The airline says the order will be implemented for all crew members recruited in and after 2017, while for those recruited before 2017, changes will be gradually applied. 

The embattled airline hopes to save nearly $2 million annually with the help of these changes – a pittance compared to its mountain of debt. 

“Cabin crew will be provided hotel rooms in 3 or 4 star hotels as far as possible... The booking will be on twin-sharing basis... The above is to be immediately implemented for all the Cabin Crew who have been recruited in 2017 onwards. The gender sensitivity issue is to be kept in mind while allotting rooms to the cabin crew,” read the order sent by Amrita Sharan, AI executive director (crew management system). 

The cost-cutting move comes at a time when government recently endured a major failure in its efforts to privatize the loss-making national carrier. The government didn't receive a single bid for acquisition of stake in Air India, likely due to restrictive conditions like an inability to lay-off staff and government retention of a 26% share in the airline. 

Globally, most international airlines don’t ask two flight attendants sharing a room -- one Middle-East airline has introduced the requirement on an experimental basis. 

Meanwhile, the All India Cabin Crew Association has registered a protest against the order and has sent a letter to management calling the order 'inhumane.'

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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