Thursday, February 22, 2007

Govt panel clears merger of Air-India and Indian

Mumbai: The group of ministers (GOM) headed by Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has approved the two-year merger proposal for Air-India (A-I) and Indian (formerly Indian Airlines).
The proposal now awaits Cabinet approval. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the government intends to complete the process by March 31, though the transition would take one or two years.
The unified entity will have over 112 aircraft and a turnover of $4 billion. In 2006, the two airlines together carried 11.7 million passengers.
The merged company will control over 70 per cent of the real estate at Mumbai and Delhi airports (in terms of parking bays, hangars and maintenance slots).
With the merger, the new entity will have more aircraft than Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Thai Airways.
Also, with new aircraft acquisitions cleared by the government for both airlines, the combined fleet strength would go up to 130. However, in terms of annual passenger traffic, it will lag far behind the three Asian tigers.
22/02/07 Business Standard