Fake & false anti-Air India campaign: Unnecessary and uninformed

Sydney, 15 February, 2016

I am concerned with this fake, unproductive, uninformed and unworthy campaign against Air India by a few groups from Sydney. Many of these groups are not known to do anything worthwhile for our community, and are doing it for their cheap publicity at the cost of Air India.

air-india-australia-logo

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/hindu-sikh-bodies-write-to-pm-on-halal-meat-in-ai/articleshow/57134905.cms

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/punjabi/en/article/2017/02/15/australian-hindus-sikhs-furious-over-only-%E2%80%98halal%E2%80%99-food-air-india-flights

This campaign is motivated by baseless assumptions and is  without facts. I live in Sydney and know that these groups, listed in the newspaper, are uninformed and disconnected with our community.

Where does it say that Hindu non-Veg or general non-veg meal in Air India has Halal meat? The obvious answer is in negative.

I travelled with Air India recently and enquired about it as a matter of curiosity.. My meal was of my preferred non-Halal type. Air India does serve Halal food to those who request it (like other airlines), and there is nothing wrong in it, but does not thrust it on the throats of anybody else. Their food otherwise is of non-Halal type.

Labelling Halal meal as Halal is appropriate, but you can’t expect Air India to write “This meal is a non-Halal meal” on the non-Halal meals. It’s not a practice in any business either. Go and see Woolworths or Coles shop where non-Halal products are not labelled as “Non-Halal”, which is practical and sensible.

Please read the Article carefully. Air India public relations officer GP Rao told TOI that “they had been serving ‘halal’ meat only when requested by a passenger. Otherwise, the non-vegetarian food was normally ‘non-halal’.”

In regards to the groups mentioned in the article, some of them do nothing useful for our community except clicking pictures with political leaders to promote themselves. One of them was not even prepared to speak up against firings at the the Sri Mandir temple in Auburn a few years ago. We spoke against that attack forcefully. One of them has recently given a “role model of the community” award to someone who exploits vulnerable people, many of whom approached us for help not long ago. I doubt these guys even travel with Air India, and have any direct experience or knowledge about the matter. I do wonder whether these groups have some repressed hatred for India, and are using Air India as a surrogate for that hatred.

I ask these guys to stop playing their unproductive, unnecessary & worthless politics. While I can understand some may have some concerns about Halal and Halal certification industry, but dragging Air India into this is contemptible.

SBS Punjabi has modified its article after receiving our concerns and views.  Thank you SBS Punjabi team for your work and journalism. Our respects for your work stays undiminished, but we have serious concerns about the fake and false anti-Air India campaign by these uninformed groups.

Mr IP Singh (@ipsinghTOI) from Times of India should please take note of our concerns and amend the report on this fake and false campaign against Air India.

PS: **I have spoken with the main campaigner just now. Some of the associations quoted in the article have not even agreed to have their names there. They didn’t even respond to the draft letter sent by the campaigner. Mr Jaydutt Nayak and Mr John Kennedy, leaders of the groups which are mentioned in the article, are yet to respond about the basis for their anti-Air India campaign. The president of Punjabi Council did not know full details of what he was consenting for, and some of the executive committee members of this council have never heard about this campaign or have consented for it. I have also spoken with Mr Noel Lal, Vice President, GOPIO International, who is based in Sydney, today. GOPIO has not consented for this campaign. They ignored the email from the campaigner. Their name is also mentioned in the articles. The one who consented for GOPIO name was the one who is not in GOPIO anymore.**

Fake and false anti-Air India campaign stands totally exposed.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Air India’s ‘Fly to Europe the Indian way’ is a great campaign for travellers to India and Europe

Sydney/2 December, 2016

I had an opportunity to discuss various things with AIR INDIA management in Australia recently.

It is obvious that they are proactive and have a clear vision about where they want Air India to be placed at. CEO Ashwani Lohani-led Air India management is on the roll.

I was very impressed to hear about their “Fly to Europe the Indian Way” campaign, which is great for those who are travelling to India and also to those who are travelling to Europe.

If they are travelling to India from Australia, they have an option to extend their travel to 8 destinations in Europe with quite an economical package.

If they are flying to Europe from Australia, they can easily do so via India (Indian way) and see icons like Taj Mahal, without needing too much to spend on their air journey.

European destinations included are London, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Vienna, Madrid, Birmingham and Paris. Air India destinations in India are most major cities.

Stop over in India can be either during inbound or outbound journey. It is quite flexible..

Starting fares from Sydney or Melbourne to Europe via India are from $966 to $1272 (inclusive of all taxes). Details from Air India on 02 92833370 (Sydney number) and Travel professionals of your choice.

This offer is for limited sale until all allocated seats are sold off.

This package is quite innovative and is going to be quite attractive.

I am aware that Australia-India-Australia segment of Air India business is growing and is already profitable. This new package is going to add to Air India’s profitability. It might be worth mentioning that almost all Air India planes are the latest variety and have advanced facilities for passengers’ comfort.

I am optimistic and confident that Air India will be going strength to strength, if its management continues to come out with innovative and passenger-friendly airfares and routes.

It will add to, and multiply, the success of both Air India and India Tourism, if they can interact and work together for campaigns like this.

Dr Yadu Singh

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Air India deserves Kudos

Sydney, 24 November, 2016

I wish to share two stories involving India’s national airline, Air India. These are very positive stories. Since I believe in praising good deeds, I am writing about them here.

  1. When we heard the sad, tragic and heart-breaking news of the brutal murder of Late Manmeet Sharma “Alisher” in Brisbane recently, everyone in the community was devastated. Manmeet was doing his job and there was no justification for what was done to him. His brother, Amit, and their family friend, Winnerjit Singh, travelled to Brisbane in the most difficult circumstances. They came to Australia to take the mortal remains of Late Manmeet. The sad news of this murder was in all newspapers not only of India, but also of the whole world. Air India chief, Ashwani Lohani, too read about this while travelling from Singapore to India. He felt moved. From Singapore itself, he contacted and asked Air India manager based in Sydney, Madhu Mathen, to offer free transportation of the mortal remains. This offer was conveyed to Indian High Commissioner in Australia, Navdeep Suri, who conveyed it to the family. I have direct information from people involved in this matter. Air India flew the mortal remains to India. I have no doubt that it is a real big gesture from Air India.
  2. When Value World Travel went out of business in November 2015, quite a lot of people lost their air tickets with various airlines. Many were those who had booked tickets with Air India too. Often, such bookings were made many months in advance when airfares were very cheap. After Value World fiasco, people did not have any booking and were required to book again. The airfares had gone up by 2 to 2.5 times by then. While no other airline did anything to alleviate the difficulties these passengers were facing, Air India did something which was unexpected. It was definitely a kind gesture. It offered re-booked tickets at the SAME price at which the original tickets were booked months earlier. I am aware that this gesture from Air India was hugely appreciated by the victims. When I met Air India manager in Sydney on an unrelated occasion, and enquired about it, I was pleased to hear his response. He said, “Air India is India’s national airline and its HEART is Indian. We share the pain and distress of Indians whenever and wherever it happens and try to do what we can do to help them.”

I travel with Air India, which is my favourite airline. I have always found their services to be great. I have many positive experiences, which I will write about one day.

Thank you Air India! We are proud of you!!

Thank you, Mr Madhu Mathen and thank you, Mr Ashwani Lohani.

You have our best wishes for taking Air India to new heights!

Jay Hind!!

Dr Yadu Singh

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