AIASL’s ‘service lapses’ irk Air India, may scout for ‘alternatives’


Tata Group-owned Air India has flagged concerns over flight delays and poor customer experience with its ground handling service provider AI Airport Services Ltd (AIASL). In a letter to AIASL’s parent company AI Asset Holding Ltd (AIAHL), Air India noted that the ground handling company’s services “have continued to deteriorate progressively” and that it is looking to explore alternative arrangements at airports.

AIASL was a subsidiary of Air India, prior to the latter’s disinvestment this year. AIASL offers ground handling at most airports in India barring Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangalore, and Thiruvananthapuram.

“While we are working towards exponentially improving our customer experience, AIASL is unable to match the requisite pace of change and we continue to face several challenges at the airports managed by AIASL as ground handling services provider for Air India,” Air India’s head–customers experience & ground handling operations

Rajesh Dogra wrote in the letter to AIAHL CMD Vikram Dev Dutt.

Dutt did not respond to messages seeking comment on this development.

Among its concerns with AIASL, Air India listed increased ground handling delays, perennial shortage of manpower, discourteous behaviour with customers, baggage mishandling etc. It also pointed out that the percentage of Air India flights getting delayed has increased progressively from 1.8 per cent in January (when Air India was handed over to the Tata Group) to 11.9 per cent in May. These primary delays, the airline said, also resulted in subsequent flights to be operated on the same aircraft getting delayed.

“The service lapses including manpower shortages extend to the terminal as well as ramp operations impacting the check-in/boarding, baggage handling processes almost on a daily basis. We are getting large number of escalations across all channels highlighting delays as well as lack of professional handling of customers at AIASL handled airports,” Air India noted.

“We are unable to accept this situation any longer as inefficiencies in the AIASL operations is severely impacting our services, goodwill, and brand image. In view of the above, we are constrained to explore alternative arrangements for ground handling services at such AIASL airports. Further…we will be forced to discontinue/scale down AIASL ground handling services at such airports,” it added.


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