Air India has just announced that “due to year-end financial commitments”, it will have to delay paying staff by ten days this month. This is not the first time the airline has been late in paying its staff. The private Indian airline, Kingfisher, also has a chequered record of payments to staff and others.
We do not think the airline is going to go bankrupt because, in the end, the government would have to step in. However, we strongly disapprove of airlines that take advantage of their staff in this way. Air India is in a desperate mess because of years of government mismanagement – it is not reasonable to expect the staff to pay for this.
There are many ways of selecting airlines based on quality of service, reliability, fares and even the generosity of their frequent flyer programme. However, we think an airline that cannot afford to pay its staff falls at the first hurdle.
Our strong advice is that you should not fly Air India for the foreseeable future.