Govt. plans hiring professionals for Air India top positions through global search

New Delhi, Dec 31:  The Centre is planning to rope in professionals for top positions at Air India through a global search process, as part of efforts to revive the national carrier.

       With the proposed strategic stake sale of the Air India failing to take off in May this year, the government has been working on various initiatives, including hiving off a significant chunk of over Rs 55,000 crore debt into a special purpose vehicle, to turn-around the ailing airline.

       Against this backdrop, the government is now actively considering the proposal to professionalise Air India management.

       Talking about steps for reviving the national airline, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday that there are plans for complete professionalisation.

       The government plans to set up a search committee that would look for aviation professionals from across the world who can brought to Air India.

       Currently, the national carrier — which is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money — has nine members on the board, including two officials from the civil aviation ministry.

       Prabhu said debt is one of the biggest problems for revival of Air India, adding that the civil aviation ministry is already working with the finance ministry to address the issue.

       The carrier is estimated to have a debt burden of over Rs 55,000 crore and about Rs 29,000 crore is to be transferred into an special purpose vehicle.

       A comprehensive financial package, including transfer of non-core debt and assets to a special purpose vehicle, implementation of robust organisational and governance reforms by the board and differentiated business strategies for each of the core businesses of Air India are part of the plan.

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