Air India doesn't know left hand from right, says minister

Air India's bailout package of Rs1200 crore from the government may be virtually in the bag, but civil aviation Minister Praful Patel made it clear that the national carrier needed to streamline its act, saying that sometimes its left hand didn't know what its right hand was doing.

Speaking to NDTV, he said Air India's systems hadn't changed with the changing times.

''The real issue for Air India is, and which I feel sometimes that pains, is that we have not been able to, I mean we as I say the entire system of Air India the people of Air India have not been able to change according to the times and that is what sometimes you know.  It's sometimes unfortunate that left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.''

Ahead of the crucial cabinet meeting on refinancing Air India, Patel on Tuesday met Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia amid indications that the government will release an additional equity of Rs1,200 crore soon to Air India.

This will be the second tranche of equity infusion after Rs800 crore was released in the last financial year.

Patel, who was accompanied by civil aviation secretary S N A Zaidi and Air India chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav at the meeting that lasted over 30 minutes, refused to divulge what transpired.