Airport Authority of India (AAI) has implemented cost-cutting measures on account of heavy losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A directive by the state-run airport management body list steps to cut costs by more than 25 per cent during the financial year 2021-2022. Along with cost-cutting, AAI is also planning to slash allowances and perks extended to over 17,000 employees due to the alleged losses amid the pandemic.
Working under Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), AAI is the largest airport operator in the country. It is responsible for 125 airports in India that it manages in a zone-wise manner. Presently, the Central Headquarters of AAI, Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern Zones, and other regions are functional across the nation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the finances and revenue of AAI for the financial year 2020-21. Though it was expected that there will be some improvement in the current financial year. However, due to the second wave of COVID-19, the adverse impact on finances and revenue continues. It is expected that AAI will be in loss for the current fiscal year,” the AAI directive read.
AAI has primarily pinpointed three areas for cost-cutting – repair and maintenance, other operating and expenditure, and administration and other expenses, which include civil mechanical, vehicles, furniture, electronics, water, taxi rental, maintenance charges, printing, telephone, travel expenses, and CSR expenses.
The directive of cost-cutting has been issued to the heads of all the departments.
“As per the directives of Chairman, AAl, an interactive deliberation on cost-cutting measures in respect of select heads of Operating and Administrative Expenditure was carried out with all HODs of Cl’lQ/Regions/Airports,” the AAI order stated.
Under AAI’s cost-cutting measures, currently, the funds for repairs and maintenance have been lowered from ₹1,266.14 crores to ₹985.81 crore. Funds for Other operating and Expenses are ₹842 crore, which have been reduced to ₹645.75 crore after cost-cutting.
Meanwhile, funds for Admin and Other Expenses, which are ₹426.05 crore, have been lowered to ₹266.92 crores after the cost-cutting.
Last week, the AAI Employees’ associations and unions had jointly lodged a protest against the management at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan over the proposed cut in perks which is part of employees’ salaries.
“It is a complete failure of AAI management with regard to reduction in allowances/perks of employees. The union has taken up the matter in meeting with AAI management and asked why the management is not recovering dues of about ₹25,000 crore from airlines and private airport operators. Has been doing.” Airport Authority Employees Union (AAEU) general secretary, Balraj Singh Ahlawat told ANI.
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