AIR INDIA might have been bought to the Tata Group however, not less than, in a single side, it appears, its disinvestment isn’t full: upgrading seats and “special handling” of a Government officer.
Records reviewed by The Indian Express present that Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, who left for United States May 7 on a private journey along with his spouse Aparna Bansal purchased Air India Economy Class tickets at a fee cheaper than different passengers on their reserving dates. After boarding, their seating was upgraded to Business Class.
Bansal, a 1988 batch IAS officer, was appointed Secretary on September 22 final yr a day after the federal government determined to promote its stake in Air India. He took cost on October 1, 2021.
He has served Air India earlier as its Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD).
Bansal and his spouse Aparna Bansal left for Newark (New Jersey, United States) on Air India flight AI-105 on May 7. They are scheduled to return later this month.
A day earlier than his scheduled flight, information present, an official from the Office of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO Nipun Aggarwal) wrote an electronic mail to a number of officers of Air India asking for “meet and assist,” “special handling” and an improve to Business “subject to availability” for the Bansals.
The Indian Express has learnt that the Bansals weren’t solely upgraded to Business class however they have been additionally provided Economy Class ticket at charges decrease than what different passengers reportedly needed to pay.
Records present Rajiv Bansal’s ticket was booked on April 1, 2022, and his spouse’s on February 24, 2022. For different passengers, round-trip charges for that route that day have been about Rs 80,000 (for February 24) and almost Rs 1.41 lakh (for April 1). However, sources mentioned that each the Bansal tickets have been at a “much reduced rate.”
The Indian Express despatched an electronic mail to Rajiv Bansal asking him in regards to the improve, the lowered fares for his tickets, and whether or not this raised questions of propriety. “I would suggest that you verify the facts with the owners of the airline first,” Bansal replied.
The Indian Express requested Air India CCO Aggarwal in regards to the electronic mail despatched from his workplace asking for particular dealing with and the improve. In response, Aruna Gopalakrishnan, ED, Corporate Affairs, wrote: “Air India has an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for extending protocol and upgrades subject to space availability and other related factors. We would not like to comment on individual cases.”