Saturday, July 25, 2009

Air India spends Rs 12 crore on crockery only to discover it's not microwave-proof

Mumbai: There is no doubt that whoever chose the Royal Doulton brand of bone china crockery for Air India passengers travelling first class has refined taste.
The English company, established in 1815, is one of the leading names of chic crockery that has graced oak tables of aristocracy world over.
But, almost all Royal Doultons stunning designs have a gold rim, which everbody knows cannot be shoved into a microwave oven because of the metal content.
Air India, apparently, does not.
The loss-making national carrier recently bought Rs 12 crore worth Royal Doulton crockery and discovered that food served in it cannot be reheated in a microwave oven in the flight pantry as is necessary.
The food, therefore, has to be heated in microwave-proof containers and then transferred on to the Royal Doulton crockery.
Sanjay Nirupam, MP Mumbai-North, lashed out at the huge spending, "It's the bureaucrats who have messed up the airline, which should have been the nation's pride.
Those responsible for the wrongs should be out of the management immediately." Nirupam claimed to have taken up the matter at a personal level with Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.
"We need to bring in professionals with integrity and honesty," he said.
Earlier this week, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury speaking in Parliament said, "The company is making huge losses.
They are asking for help from the government, yet they buy expensive crockery that cannot be heated in the microwave."
Yechury and Nirupam together voiced concerns on behalf of Air India's unions while speaking on the revival of the national carrier. Air India totted up losses of nearly Rs 7,200 crore on March 31.
24/07/09 Aditya Anand/MiD DAY