Monday, August 27, 2007

Air India merger officially complete

Air India mascotThe merger between India's two state-owned airlines, first announced early this year, finally is complete -- at least as far as the legalities are concerned.

The intended merger between Air India and Indian Airlines was approved in March of this year by the government of India, and a new company called the National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) was formed. The Certificate to Commence Business was obtained in May of 2007. Now, as a final step in the bureaucratic process, an Order of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has been issued, approving the merger of the two airlines, with NACIL as the holding company.

The newly merged carrier will operate as Air India. The Corporate Office of NACIL will be at Mumbai.

The new Air India is undergoing a corporate image makeover. A statement about the merger issued by the airline said:
It has been decided that post merger, the new entity will be known as “Air India” while “Maharaja” will be retained as its mascot. The logo of the new airline will be a red coloured flying swan with the “Konark Chakra” in orange placed inside it. The flying swan has been morphed from Air India’s characteristic logo “The Centaur” whereas the “Konark Chakra” was reminiscent of Indian’s logo.
As a part of the image makeover effort, cabin crew and ground personnel will be getting fashionable new uniforms created by one of India's most well-known designers designers, Ritu Beri.

An article about the finalization of the Air India merger on notes that actual integration of the two airlines’ operations will probably take around two years to complete. The enlarged carrier will have combined fleet size of over 112 aircraft. Already faced with a pilot shortage, the airline has come up with a plan to help finance the training of new pilots.