Air India has transferred its employees working in the Ground Handling and Maintenance facilities to Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL) and Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL) as part of the Turnaround and Financial Restructuring Plan for revival of the national carrier.

All those employed in the ground handling and maintenance wings will be transferred to these independent companies, but their service conditions, emoluments and perks will remain unchanged. The process of transferring employees from AI to AIATSL and AIESL began on Friday, official sources told The Hindu . In all, 300 employees have been transferred in Kerala.

The airline has already appointed Chief Executive Officers (CEO) for the subsidiary companies and they will be run by their respective boards with the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India as Chairman. K.M. Unni, Strategic Business Unit (SBU) Head MRO (Airframe) has been given the additional charge of CEO, AIATSL..Vipin K Sharma, Air India’s SBU Head-MRO (Engine & Components), has been given additional charge of CEO, AIESL.

Initially, Air India will provide towards capital expenditure to the hived off units. Later, the national carrier would be paid royalty by these subsidiaries on the revenues they earn. Sources said the aim was to make the two units independent profit centres.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal had announced recently that the next tranche of financial assistance would be paid to the national carrier soon.

With the money already received from the Union government, Air India has paid its dues with IOC and airport operators.

Formed in 2003

The AIATSL was formed in 2003 to undertake ground handling activities for airlines. The AIATSL started by undertaking the ground-handling activities at Kozhikode, Ahmedabad and Amritsar initially and later extended it to other airports. It has been rendering ground handling services, including passenger handling, ramp handling, security handling and cargo handling.

The AIESL was formed with the aim of providing engineering activities, including Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services to client airlines apart from catering to AI.

In a communication to the employees, CMD of Air India Rohit Nandan assured them that the management was committed to safeguarding their service benefits.