Air India will continue to add routes and planes says new CMD

Air India will continue to add routes and planes says new CMD

Exhorting employees to re- dedicate themselves to turnaround Air India, its new CMD Rajiv Bansal today said the national carrier will continue to expand its network as well as fleet. This is Bansal’s first formal communication with the employees after he was given interim charge as the Chairman and Managing Director last week.

“I have full faith in your capabilities and experience and am sure that we will work as a team and do everything to further strengthen the profitability of the company,” he said in a letter to AI employees.

“We have introduced new flights to international destinations and will continue to launch new routes in the days to come. Along with extending our network, we will be inducting new aircraft to augment our fleet with state of the art aircraft like the Dreamliners and A320 Neos,” the letter reads.

Referring to the 10th anniversary of the merger of Indian Airlines with Air India, Bansal told the employees, “exactly 10 years ago, a new resurgent Air India was born”.

He has taken over at a time when the government has constituted a group of ministers to chart out a strategy for the disinvestment of the airline, which has a debt of over Rs 48,000 crore.

Against this backdrop, Bansal said, “I exhort you all to rededicate yourself towards turning around our beloved Air India.”

Nearly 10 years after the merger, Air India managed to post an operational profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16. Concerns have been raised in many quarters, including some related to Air India, that the merger led to poor financial health of the national carrier.

Bansal replaced Ashwani Lohani who assumed office as the Chairman of the Railway Board. A senior IAS officer, Bansal has also served as a director in the civil aviation ministry and played a crucial role as a board member of the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) during the formative years of the merged national carrier.

A Nagaland-cadre IAS officer, Bansal has also been a board member of the Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, the release said.

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