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AI, Indian to appoint consultant for merger

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 2 (UNI) Air India (AI) and Indian will shortly appoint a management consultancy firm to draw a roadmap for their merger, civil aviation minister Praful Patel said today.

A board of either of the two can appoint the consultant, he said, adding the merger process will be complete in current fiscal year 2006-07.

The consultant will be appointed this month and chalk out the future course for AI's low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and Indian's subsidiary Alliance Air, said Mr Patel.

Aviation experts say the government will succeed in creating an internationally competitive carrier by merging AI and Indian if it can overcome the challenges that lie ahead Mr Patel said the civil aviation ministry is yet to decide whether offloading a portion of AI or Indian's equity by way of initial public offering (IPO) will be before or after the merger.

Several industry experts say AI and Indian will face increased competition in an environment of rising costs. So it is better for the government to promote India overseas with one airline and one voice.


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