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AI aircraft maintenance base at Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Dec 4 (UNI) Air India (AI) has drawn plans to set up aircraft maintenance base at Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi, minister for civil aviation Praful Patel said today.

As far as Thiruvananthapuram is concerned, the tendering process for project management consultant is in progress. The consultant will be appointed by this month-end, Mr Patel told the Rajya Sabha.

For Delhi, the process for appointment of a consultant is in progress.

The estimated expenditure for construction of hangar and apron area for parking and access at Thiruvananthapuram is Rs 50 crore.

The expected date of completion of the project is March 2008.

In reply to another question, Mr Patel said the proposal for merger of AI and Indian is under active consideration of the government. The merger will provide an integrated international/domestic footprint which will significantly enhance customer proposition and allow easy entry into one of the three global airline alliances.

It will enable optimal utilisation of existing resources through improvement in load factors and yields on commonly services routes as well as deploy freed up aircraft capacity on alternate routes.

The merger will also provide an opportunity to fully leverage strong assets, capabilities and infrastructure, said Mr Patel. It will have the potential to launch high growth and profitability businesses like ground handling services besides have a maintenance, repair and overhaul unit.

Mr Patel said the merger will potentially enable the merged entity to command better valuation and operate a combined fleet strength which will be largest in India and comparable to other airlines in Asia.

The benefits will lead to improvement in the company's prospects and translate into better prospects for all the employees, said the minister.

UNI SU PV HS1752

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