UAE-based Air India director resigns over 'fare hikes'
The boss of the firm behind regional supermarket brand Lulu has resigned from the board of India’s national airline in protest at “unjustified fare hikes” and “irregular services” he claims are hitting the Gulf’s Indian expats.
In a statement, Yusuff Ali MA – managing director of the Abu Dhabi-headquartered EMKE Group – announced the end of his tenure as an independent director on the board of Air India two years after he was appointed to the role.
"Since my induction into the Air India board I have tried my level best to bring change in the way the national airline is working,” he said in a statement.
“But still thousands of our countrymen are getting stranded in Gulf and Indian airports due to frequent flight cancellations and delay of services and unjustified fare hikes especially in peak seasons. I really feel dejected at not being able to do justice to the faith reposed on me and I have decided to step down," he added.
Although Air India is government-owned, Yusuff Ali said lawmakers had taken steps to “revive Air India to its old glory” and laid the blame for his complaints at the “non-co-operative attitude of some sections of the employees and executives”.
In a shot across the carrier’s bows, he also said he would investigate backing plans for the Indian state of Kerala to launch its own airline.
“I will try to garner more support for this during theforthcoming 'Emerging Kerala' investment meet to held in Kochi in September" he said.