Air India lays off over 180 non-flying staff

Ananya Shroff
2 Min Read

NEW DELHI: In recent weeks, Air India has reportedly laid off over 180 non-flying staff members, sources disclosed. However, the airline clarified that these actions were taken as a result of employees’ inability to utilize voluntary retirement schemes and reskilling opportunities rather than as a measure of downsizing.

Streamlining Efforts Under Tata Group

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The Tata Group took over the reins of the loss-making Air India in January 2022. Since then, the conglomerate has been diligently working towards streamlining the airline’s business model to enhance efficiency.

Employee Fitment Process

An Air India spokesperson stated on Friday that the airline has embarked on a fitment process wherein employees in non-flying roles are being assigned duties based on organizational requirements and individual merit. The spokesperson emphasized that this process has been comprehensive and ongoing for the past 18 months.

Honoring Obligations Amid Transition

Addressing concerns, the spokesperson highlighted that multiple voluntary retirement schemes (VRS) and reskilling opportunities were provided to employees. However, for less than 1% of the workforce unable to avail themselves of these opportunities, the airline had to initiate separations. It was emphasized that all contractual obligations are being honored during this phase of transition.

Extent of Layoffs

Although Air India did not specify the exact number of employees affected, sources indicated that the layoffs affected slightly over 180 legacy employees out of the airline’s total workforce of approximately 18,000.

Transformational Initiative Vihaan.AI

As part of the multi-year transformational initiative Vihaan.AI, the spokesperson underscored the importance of building an agile and effective organizational structure aligned with the business model. This, it was stated, aims to support expansion and ambitions of the airline.

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