MoU signed between AIATSL and AI management

Air India SATS Airports Services Pvt Ltd. (AISATS), a joint venture between Air India and Singapore Airport Terminal Services, will take over the ground-handling services of the majority of airlines operating from the Thiruvananthapuram international airport from Monday.

The decks were cleared for AISATS to start work following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the representatives of Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) and the AI management at a conciliation meeting convened by the Assistant Labour Commissioner (Central) in the capital on Friday. Airline sources told The Hindu that the long-pending issue of the employment of 82 AIATSL personnel had been resolved with the signing of the agreement.

The AIATSL employees had demanded that either they be given the ground-handling services for Air India and Air India Express flights using the existing equipment or be deputed to the commercial wing of the AISATS. But, the AI had asked them to resign and join the new venture with salary protection; or seek a transfer to a station of their choice where ground-handling was still with the old subsidiary; or take a transfer to the security wing without salary protection.

As per the agreement signed by the Senior Human Resource Development Manager, Chennai, and the Station Manager of AI with the representatives of the AIATSL, the employees were given three options. Joining the AISATS in Thiruvananthapuram with protection of the last drawn salary, same terms and conditions, and a Rs.2,000 hike in salary was the first option.

The second option was transfer to the AIATSL units in Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai and Trichy. The last option was shifting to AIATSL security wing in Thiruvananthapuram on fulfilling the educational and medical qualifications.

Airline sources said eight AIATSL employees had taken the first option and would join the AISATS, 23 had chosen the second option and decided to move to the Kochi unit of the AIATSL and three to the security wing of the AIATSL in Thiruvananthapuram. The AI management was of the view that the remaining AIATSL employees would follow suit.

The Singapore Airport Terminal Services is a fully-owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and ground handling wing of Singapore Airlines. Air India had entered into a pact with them four years ago and had entrusted the ground-handling in Hyderabad, Bangalore, T3 Delhi and Mangalore to the AISATS. The chairman of AI is also the chairman of AISATS.

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