Air India chief Ashwani Lohani recently landed at an airport to oversee the airline’s operations there, but was mobbed by a lot of AI officials who went there as usual to receive him.
To their surprise, Lohani asked AI staffers to focus on work and not waste time receiving him at airports.
Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani iimb.emet
He has also barred employees from coming with bouquets for him.
“I have noticed that bouquets are invariably presented to me in my capacity as CMD in various functions and also whenever I visit a station or an office. I have also noticed a large number of staff waiting at airports to receive or see me off,” Lohani said in a note to employees. “This culture has to end. Emphasis in the organisation has to be on work and work alone and not on petty courtesies. While bouquets shall be a big no from now on, only minimal officials should receive or see me off at airports,” Lohani’s note said.
Ashwani Lohani has earned reputation as being the ‘turnaround’ man for Air India. In a recent missive to the airline’s staff, he instructed that no free tickets were to be given to family members. He added that those who tried to upgrade their relatives from economy class to business risked punishment.
To tighten its expenses further, Lohani in a strong-worded circular also asked its officials to restrict the usage of high-end hotels and luxury cabs. When travelling within the country, the higher officials may have to stay in the crew hotels.
“I have been repeatedly emphasising on the economy, to curb of wasteful expenditure and maintaining immaculate conduct and behaviour,” he said.
The circular also stated, “If any officer has to cover many points in a day that otherwise would be uncomfortable, to cover by point-to-point taxis, written prior approval need to be taken”.
The circular included, “Entertainment is definitely not for entertaining family and friends. It should be for strictly for official purposes and done judiciously. The official should maintain a record of who was entertained and in the case of excessive expenditure, this record may be called for scrutiny”. The government had extended a Rs 30,231 crore to Air India in the year 2012, under a turnaround plan stretching over a period of nine years to keep it floating.