Air India may perhaps have been marketed to the Tata Team but, at the very least, in just one aspect, it appears, its disinvestment is not full: upgrading seats and “special handling” of a Governing administration officer. Information reviewed by The Indian Categorical show that Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, who remaining for United States Might 7 on a personalized journey with his wife Aparna Bansal bought Air India Financial state Class tickets at a charge much less expensive than other travellers on their scheduling dates. Soon after boarding, their seating was upgraded to Business enterprise Class.
Bansal, a 1988 batch IAS officer, was appointed Secretary on September 22 past calendar year a working day after the govt resolved to sell its stake in Air India. He took charge on Oct 1, 2021.
He has served Air India earlier as its Chairman-cum-Handling Director (CMD).
Bansal and his wife Aparna Bansal left for Newark (New Jersey, United States) on Air India flight AI-105 on Might 7. They are scheduled to return later on this month.
A working day in advance of his scheduled flight, information show, an official from the Place of work of Main Business Officer (CCO Nipun Aggarwal) wrote an electronic mail to several officials of Air India inquiring for “meet and guide,” “special handling” and an up grade to Enterprise “subject to availability” for the Bansals.
The Indian Specific has learnt that the Bansals were being not only upgraded to Business enterprise course but they have been also provided Financial state Course ticket at prices lower than what other passengers reportedly had to fork out.
Documents display Rajiv Bansal’s ticket was booked on April 1, 2022, and his wife’s on February 24, 2022. For other passengers, spherical-journey rates for that route that day were being about Rs 80,000 (for February 24) and almost Rs 1.41 lakh (for April 1). Nonetheless, resources stated that equally the Bansal tickets have been at a “much decreased level.”
The Indian Categorical sent an e-mail to Rajiv Bansal inquiring him about the upgrade, the reduced fares for his tickets, and no matter whether this elevated queries of propriety. “I would counsel that you confirm the info with the homeowners of the airline initial,” Bansal replied.
The Indian Specific requested Air India CCO Aggarwal about the e mail sent from his place of work inquiring for exclusive handling and the up grade. In response, Aruna Gopalakrishnan, ED, Corporate Affairs, wrote: “Air India has an SOP (Regular Functioning Process) for extending protocol and updates subject to room availability and other relevant factors. We would not like to comment on particular person situations.”