Air India will continue to expand: Rajiv Bansal

In his first formal communication with employees since he was given interim charge as the chairman and managing director last week, Bansal said he had full faith in them.

Published: 29th August 2017 08:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2017 08:36 PM   |  A+A-

Air India (File photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Newly appointed CMD of Air India Rajiv Bansal has urged employees of the soon-to-be privatised airline to rededicate themselves to turn around Air India.

Bansal has also assured the employees that the airline will continue to expand its network and will also add more aircrafts to its fleet. In his first formal communication with employees since he was given interim charge as the chairman and managing director last week, Bansal said he had full faith in them and was looking forward to work with them.

In a letter written on Monday, Bansal said, “I have full faith in your capabilities and experience and am sure that we will work as a team and do everything to further strengthen the profitability of the company.”  Talking about the expansion of Air India, Bansal said that the national carrier has introduced new flights to international destinations and will continue to launch new routes in the days to come. “Along with extending our network, we will be inducting new aircraft to augment our fleet with state of the art aircraft like the Dreamliners and A320 Neos,” he said.

Bansal, who has taken charge of the airline at a time when the government has constituted a group of ministers to chart out a strategy for the disinvestment of the airline, also mentioned that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the merger of Indian Airlines with Air India.  He also congratulated the employees for their contribution that led to the growth of India.

Nearly 10 years after the merger, Air India -- which has a debt of over Rs 48,000 crore-- managed to post an operational profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16.  

Against this backdrop, the letter read, “The last one year has been marked by tremendous improvements in every field. Financially, we have improved. Our losses have declined, our revenues have increased, our passenger load factor has risen and there has been robustness in our operations...I again wish all Air Indians on this historic occasion and exhort you to dedicate yourself towards  turning around our beloved Air India and make it a force to reckon with in the days to come.”

Bansal replaced Ashwani Lohani who assumed office as the chairman of the Railway Board. A senior IAS officer, Bansal has also served as a director in the civil aviation ministry and played a crucial role as a board member of the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) during the formative years of the merged national carrier.

A Nagaland-cadre IAS officer, Bansal has also been a board member of the Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India.


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