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Air India sold Rs 1,300 cr plane to Ethiad for only Rs 427 cr; CAG questions national carrier

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), after being quite for a long time on Monday, questioned state-run carrier Air India for selling five Boeing 777s at a loss to Etihad in 2013.

The CAG has sought civil aviation ministry’s response on why this deal was allowed under the United Progressive Alliance government.

The CAG query addressed two aspects – one of selling the aircraft after six years of operation, when they were meant to be operated for 25 years; and the second of selling it at much lower than the cost price, The Economic Times reported.

Former comptroller and auditor general, Vinod Rai had earlier raised questions about Air India and Etihad deal for $350 million in his 2014 book ‘Not Just an Accountant’. In the book, he had mentioned, “Why did we make purchases and within five years of the delivery of the aircraft, sell them at roughly 427 crore each to Etihad Airways after having purchased them in 2005 for 1,300 crore per aircraft?”

Air India in its defense has said that the long-range planes were not not fuel efficient and were losing money on its overseas flights, including to US and Japan, according to Economic Times.

Etihad reportedly is currently using the aircraft to connect to Abu Dhabi to destinations in US. The long range Boeing 777-200-LR has a range of 17,370 km, allowing it to connect almost any city in the world from Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub.

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Air India deliberates creating no-fly list post unruly behaviour of MP

Shiv Sena MP assaulted a 60 yr old airline staff with slippers onboard a flight

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New Delhi, Mar 23, 2017: A Shiv Sena MP apparently assaulted an Air India airline staff- 60 years old, with slipper, at the IGI airport in New Delhi today. Following the incident, Air India is deliberating creating a no-fly list for unruly passengers.

A senior official said, “Air India is considering preparation of a no-fly list of unruly passengers on the lines of other carriers.”

Ravindra Gaikwad, Shiv Sena MP, who was flying from Pune to Delhi on an Air India flight, hit Sukumar, the airline’s duty manager with his slipper several times, when Sukumar asked him to unboard the plane after the minister denied doing so once the plane landed at the Delhi airport.

PTI reported the airlines sources saying, “ The lawmaker turned violent, tore the duty manager’s shirt, broke his spectacles and hit him several times with his slippers.”

Possessing a business class ticket, Gaikwad insisted on taking the airline’s early morning flight from Pune to Delhi, Flight AI-852; which happens to be an all-economy class flight. This stiked an argument between the MP and the airline staff in Pune, leading to the assault in Delhi, on landing.

In recent times, there have been many incidents of unruly behaviour by the passengers, across various airlines.

AirAsia, in the previous month, had filed a police complaint against two drunk passengers for creating a nuisance onboard.

In January, on one of its flight from Dubai to New Delhi, IndiGo had to tie down a passenger to his seat for being violent onboard.

According to official data, 53 incidents of unruly behaviour by the passengers have been reported by domestic airlines between July 2016 and Feb 2017.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), unruly passengers make the list of the top three safety concerns of the cabin crew.

As per the IATA, in 2015, there were 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by the passengers across airlines worldwide, which translate into one incident for every 1,205 flights.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

 

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