Air India plans to introduce mentorship programme for cabin crew staff under which senior members would mentor their junior colleagues as part of larger efforts to turnaround its fortunes and burnish overall image. Faced with stiff competition, the national carrier–which is making ambitious turnaround efforts–has been looking for “out of the box” ideas to anchor its revival.
The airline has over 3,800 cabin crew members and more than 2,500 are women. A senior official said the airline plans to introduce a “mentorship programme” under which senior cabin crew members would mentor their junior colleagues and new entrants.
There are a substantial number of cabin crew people who have been with the carrier for a decade and more. With rich experience at various levels, such individuals would be able to provide effective mentoring for their juniors, the official added.
According to the official, the mentorship programme would help staff in honing their soft skills, including those pertaining to behavioural aspects and etiquette. Out of the total cabin crew strength, around 2,200 members are on permanent rolls.
The official also noted that the airline is keen to try out “out of the box” ideas that are also in tune with dynamic market trends. The airline is staying afloat on a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package, spread over ten years, announced by the UPA government in 2012. Funds are being released subject to the carrier achieving certain operational parameters.
More than Rs 22,000 crore has been provided to Air India under the turnaround plan. This includes financial support towards repayment of principal as well as interest on government-guaranteed loans taken for aircraft acquisition.
Government has allocated Rs 1,713 crore to the airline as part of this bailout package for the current fiscal against the carrier’s request for Rs 3,901.49 crore.