The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has decided to cut costs due to heavy losses reported by it amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Directives were issued by the AAI, with more than 25 per cent cost-cutting measures taken for the financial year 2021-2022.
"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. lt is expected that AAI will be in loss for the current fiscal year," the AAI directive said.
AAI is the largest airport operator in India. About 125 airports come under the authority and AAI has managed these airports zone-wise. Presently, the Central Headquarters of AAI, Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern Zones, and other regions are functional across the country.
AAI mainly selected 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," read the AAI order.
As per AAI cost-cutting directives, currently, the funds for repairs and maintenance are, Rs-1266.14 crores and the proposed fund is Rs 985.81 cores."
Funds for Other operating and Expenses are, Rs-842 crores and AAI proposed funds after cost-cutting Rs 645.75 crores, it said.
Currently, funds for Admin and Other Expenses are Rs 426.05 cr and the authority proposed 266.92 crores, said the AAI.
Not only cost-cutting, but AAI is also planning to cut the allowances and perks of over 17,000 AAI employees due to the alleged losses amid the pandemic.
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 Rs 25,000 crore from airlines and private airport operators. Has been doing." Airport Authority Employees Union (AAEU) general secretary, Balraj Singh Ahlawat told ANI.