After privatisation, Tata owned Air India announces VRS scheme for its over 9,000 employees

Months after India’s national carrier Air India was sold to the Tata Group after a competitive bidding, the Group has announced VRS scheme for its over 9000 employees

Air India flights
Air India flights
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NH Political Bureau

Months after India’s national carrier Air India was privatised and sold to the Tata Group after a competitive bidding, the Group has announced Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) scheme for its over 9000 employees, despite initial protest by the unions.

The VRS plan seen by NH shows that permanent employees above 55 years of age or those who have completed 20 years of service in Air India can opt for the VRS package.

The memo issued by the new management says that cabin crew, clerical and unskilled workforce of 40 years of age can also apply.

Employees opting for VRS will receive an additional incentive over the ex-gratia amount, the memo said.

After privatisation, Tata owned Air India announces VRS scheme for its over 9,000 employees

“Employees who apply for the Voluntary Retirement Scheme between June 1 and June 30 are being asked to get in touch with the head of personnel department of your region,” the memo signed by Suresh Dutt Tripathi, Chief Human Resources Officer, Air India reads.

As of November 2019, the airline had 9,426 permanent employees.

NH reached out to the employees union leaders for their comment but most of them refused to comment or ignored the query.

Interestingly, while on one hand, Air India has announced the VRS schemes, it is simultaneously on a recruitment drive and is conducting walk-in interviews for cabin crew in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

As per sources, the company is also hiring mid and senior-level executives from rival companies for specialised departments such as engineering, network planning.


It is worth mentioning here that the engineering services of the erstwhile are considered one of the best in India.

According to media reports, Rajesh Dogra, a TCS veteran who headed the Passport Seva programme, is now head of customer experience and ground handling at Air India. Satya Ramaswamy, head of strategic initiatives at Tata Digital, has joined the Group as the airline's chief digital and technology officer.

NH had reported in March that two months after the sale of Air India, the Modi government has planned to sell Air India’s iconic building in Mumbai along with other assets.

The 23-storey building, known as Air India Tower, on Marine Drive is famous for its beautiful design, mammoth structure and the usage of modern technology.

In October 2021, Tata Group had acquired Air India privatization bid for Rs 18,000 crore. “Welcome Back, Air India. The Tata Group winning the bid for Air India is great news.” Ratan Tata had said then said. However, the process of takeover was completed in January 2022.

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