Air India passenger plane, air india pilot
An Air India passenger plane takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad January 30, 2013.Reuters file

While employees of Air India may be unhappy with the privatisation plans of the domestic carrier and even staged a protest regarding the same in New Delhi, the carrier's CEO believes that the planned stake sale will be a good move for Air India as well as its staff.

Air India chief Ashwani Lohani wrote to his staff on Tuesday, July 18, and explained that the disinvestment was a result of the Rs 50,000 crore debt that the airline was in. He also said that this massive debt was even threatening the survival of the brand and called the stake sale "a win-win solution."

"This huge debt has accumulated due to continuous losses over the years. You would, however, appreciate that unless a solution is found to this huge debt, survival, in the long run, is almost impossible and the proposal to consider disinvestment is a step in this direction," he wrote, according to the Economic Times.

"It is the firm conviction of the government that the process of disinvestment is only meant to make Air India a much stronger world class airline capable of competing with others successfully."

Apart from outlining the benefits of disinvestment from the business point of view, Lohani also said that the employees would, in fact, enjoy the new work culture that will be more along the lines of a corporate structure.

"The complexities of working in a PSU (public sector undertaking) environment would get replaced by a corporate culture, a culture in which merit would get a better deal. This should enable a full realisation of the inherent potential of your airline besides creating an environment that would indeed be conducive for all of us who are used to working hard with commitment and integrity," he added.

However, convincing the airline's staff may not be a cakewalk after around 300 employees of the state-run carrier protested outside Air India office near the Indira Gandhi International airport and chanted slogans against the planned disinvestment. "We appeal to the government of India not to go for privatisation and disinvestment of Air India. We are always ready to turnaround Air India," PTI quoted Air Corporation's Employees Union (ACEU) as saying.

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Air hostesses walk next to the parked Air India's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner upon its arrival at the airport in New Delhi September 8, 2012 (representational image).Reuters file

The union also plans to hold protests in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai later this month.

Meanwhile, Air India also said to be drafting a proposal to offer voluntary retirement to about a third of its 40,000 employees, before the carrier goes private. Additionally, it was earlier also reported that the carrier was considering a fleet expansion, but the plan has now been put on hold.