Air-India chief plans mega merger

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 27 September 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Keeping in sync with the international trend, Air-India chairman and managing director V Thulasidas on Saturday said he favoured merger of the state-carrier with domestic carrier Indian Airlines.
Speaking to reporters after the addressing the 53rd annual convention of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Thulasidas said: "there is a need for a merger."

When asked whether this would actually take place, he said it was a matter of policy decision to be taken by the Government.

The Air-India chief said in most cases, a strong international carrier was supported by an equally capable domestic carrier.

He said the option was either to merge Indian Airlines with Air-India or to transform the domestic carrier as a subsidiary of AI.

The Air-India chief said before pursuing the open skies policy further, the Government should strengthen the role of the national carrier to protect the economic interests of the country.

Saying that A-I was not against opening up or liberalisation per se, Thulasidas said time was ripe to ponder on why the country's carrier had not been able to play the role of a strong airlines in the international arena.

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