AIASL’s ‘service outages’ resent Air India and may be looking for ‘alternatives’

Tata Group-owned Air India has raised concerns about flight delays and poor customer experience at 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 groundhandling company’s services “have continued to deteriorate” and that it is looking at alternative arrangements at airports.

AIASL was a subsidiary of Air India before the latter liquidated its investments this year. AIASL provides ground handling services at most airports in India except Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram.

“While we work to exponentially improve our customer experience, AIASL is unable to meet the pace of change required and we continue to face several challenges at the airports managed by AIASL as the ground handling service provider for Air India says Air India’s key customer Experience & Ground Handling

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

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

Among its concerns to AIASL, Air India cited increasing ground handling delays, constant shortage of manpower, rude behavior towards customers, incorrect baggage handling, etc. It also pointed out that the percentage of Air India flights delayed from 1.8 percent in January gradually increased (when Air India was handed over to Tata Group) to 11.9 per cent in May. These primary delays also resulted in subsequent flights scheduled to operate on the same aircraft being delayed, according to the airline.

“The service outages, including staff shortages, extend to the terminal as well as ramp operations that impact check-in/boarding and baggage handling processes on an almost daily basis. We are receiving a large number of escalations across all channels indicating delays as well as a lack of professional handling of customers at AIASL-handled airports,” noted Air India.

“We cannot accept this situation any longer as inefficiencies in AIASL operations are severely impacting our services, goodwill and brand image. In light of the above, we are compelled to consider alternative arrangements for ground handling services at such AIASL airports. Also…we will be forced to discontinue/reduce AIASL ground handling services at such airports,” she added.

Sybil Alvarez

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