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Delta to close Indian call centres

April 18, 2009 14:45 IST

America's Delta Airlines, the world's largest airline, has announced that it will close down its Indian call centres.

Airlines officials said the decision is driven by poor customer feedback. This could come as a major setback to India's flourishing call centres which provide employment to thousands of youths across the country.

Delta's calls in India were handled by a call centre of Wipro Ltd.

Media reports said Richard Anderson, the airline's chief executive, told employees in a recorded message on Thursday night that Delta had stopped forwarding calls to India in the first quarter and would be bringing the function back in-house in the US.

"The customer acceptance of call centres in foreign countries is low and our customers were not shy about letting us have that feedback," Anderson said.

A Delta spokesman, was quoted by The Boston Globe as saying that the airlines has hired about 4,500 call-centre workers in the US after it ended its current outsourcing operations in India. However, Delta's call centres in Jamaica and South Africa would continue, the spokesman said.

In February, the United Airlines too had announced to end its 165 overseas call centre jobs. After the merger with the North West Airlines, Delta is now the world's largest carrier.

It had sent its call centre jobs to India in 2002 to save money, which at that time was estimated at about $25 million a year.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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