Air India had lifted its ban in 2016 on compassionate appointments after almost eight years, and has now slowly started to make appointments based on compassionate grounds across all its networks around the country.

According to a senior official in Air India, some 150 compassionate appointments have been made by the ailing airline in the last two years, since the process was reopened after it was closed down in 2007 across the country. 

In Air India’s Northern region, 25 compassionate appointments have been made in the last two years, against 171 applications received over the last nine years. 

Air India reopened its policy for compassionate appointments on 1 January 2016. According to the compassionate appointment policy, a dependant or next of kin of a deceased employee is considered for an appointment with the airlines, and according to Air India, compassionate appointment was brought back to support the family of any deceased employee.

The senior Air India official cited above told The Sunday Guardian, “Air India had stopped compassionate appointments after Indian Airlines and Air India were merged in 2007. However, we reconsidered this decision to once again start compassionate appointments. In the last two years, we have been able to make 150 compassionate appointments for the next of kin of any deceased employee while in service.”

However, Joginder a 29-year-old hairdresser and son of Late Satya Bir Singh, a former employee of Air India, said that he has been running from pillar to post for a compassionate appointment with the airlines for the last seven years since his father passed away in 2008, but to no avail.  

Speaking to this newspaper, he said, “My father, who was the head helper in the loading department at the Delhi airport, passed away of a heart attack in 2008 and the responsibility of the family soon came on me. I applied for a compassionate appointment with the airlines in 2008, but since then, they have only been telling me that my application is under process.”

“I have written several times to the airlines, even filed a case at the Saket court in Delhi, but the matter is still pending. The airlines has, however, made some appointments in the last two years, but there is no transparency on my case,” Joginder alleged. 

Air India, however, has said that applications received only after lifting of the ban on 1 January 2016 will be considered for compassionate appointments.

The Air India official cited above said: “All applications are thoroughly processed and the final decision lies with the MD (Managing Director); depending on educational qualifications and other criteria, appointments are made.”

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