Saturday, September 02, 2017

AI-Indian Airlines 'emotional merger' still to happen: Raju

New Delhi: The "emotional merger" of Air India and Indian Airlines is still to happen, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said even as he emphasised that he would not like the airline to go the Kingfisher way.
While describing Air India as a "lovely airline" that has served the Indian people well, the minister said there are "legacy issues" and that taxpayers' money cannot be put in for eternity to keep it afloat.
In efforts to revive the loss-making Air India, the Cabinet, in June, had given its in-principle nod for strategic divestment of the airline and its five subsidiaries. A group of ministers is working on the modalities for the process.
Raju said the merging of Indian Airlines with Air India has taken place, "but emotional merger... that is still not happening. So, there are problems".
"Implementing Dharmadhikari (committee recommendations) that is one angle... Still, within the organisation itself there are certain problems," the minister told in an interview.
In 2012, five years after the merger of the two airlines into one, the Dharmadhikari committee had submitted its report on Air India HR issues to the government.
The merger, which happened in 2007, is seen as a major factor for the current state of affairs at Air India -- which for the first time in a decade eked out an operational profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16.
02/09/17 PTI/Times of India