Air India heading for massive trim; to start low-cost service

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New Delhi, July 7 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Tuesday said that a major revamp of Air India's top management would be carried out in 30 days and it would start low-cost domestic operations in a bid to turn around cash-strapped Air India in the next two years.

According to sources, the entire top management of Air India, which is under a loan liability of Rs 15,000 crore, would be recast in the next 30 days. Several old time directors might be asked to leave and a Professional Chief Operating Officer will be appointed under the Chairman and Managing Director.

"You will see in the next 30 days a major change in the top management in Air India. You are going to see a major change in the board. Some heads are going to roll. We are going to bring high quality people of great integrity and people with a proven track record in business," said Praful Patel.

Apart from the massive trim, the airline has also been told to begin domestic low cost flights.

"AI must enter the domestic low cost segment. That's where the growth is and is something that Jet and Kingfisher have already done. It's upto the airline whether to use AI Express for that purpose or have something else," Praful Patel added.

The Civil Aviation Minister's remarks follows reports that Air India was expecting an estimated loss of about Rs 5,000 crore in the 2008-09 financial year. (ANI)

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