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Air India chief Rajiv Bansal has told employees that on-time performance of flights is the "most important deciding factor" along with services in determining an airline's fortune.
Bansal, who took over as the Chairman and Managing Director of the disinvestment-bound airline last month, is focused on improving the On-Time Performance (OTP) of the flights.
The national carrier has been receiving flak from various quarters for various issues, including flight delays.
"I firmly believe that OTP holds the key to an airline's performance index and is the most important deciding factor, along with service standards in determining an airline company's fortune," Bansal said in a message to the employees on September 13.
Reporting to work on time and completing the given task on schedule at every level should automatically result in overall punctuality of Air India flights, he added.
"Being on time has to become a way of life for each one of us. Let us take pride in being on-time," he said.
The OTP of Air India's domestic flights from four metro airports stood at 65.5 per cent in July, way lower than many other local carriers, according to official data.
The airline crew has been instructed to ensure the first flight of the day should be operated on time and there will be "zero tolerance" for delays of such flights.
According to the latest message, the strategy has borne fruit and the focus should now be to ensure "our end-of- the-day OTP is at par with the good starts that we have been achieving".
He has also urged that different departments within Air India must "perform cohesively" to improve the airline's punctuality.
"All stakeholders -- like commercial, ground handling, operations, in-flight services, engineering, catering and security -- should perform cohesively as a team for improving the OTP in each and every base all over the network," Bansal said.
For airlines operating multiple trips per day, a single delay can have a cascading effect across the network.
In a recent interview to PTI, Bansal had said the airline will "act on those who fail to act" in ensuring on-time flights.
Back in July, then Air India chief Ashwani Lohani had issued a circular asking officials to report to work on time or face action.