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Thursday, 14 February, 2019, 09 : 45 AM [IST]

Ashwani Lohani back in Air India as CMD

Ashwani Lohani has been brought back into the helm of national flag carrier, Air India by the government. Lohani returns as Chairman and Managing Director after his superannuation from Railways as Chairman Railway Board.  Lohani had a successful stint at Air India as CMD between August 2015 and 2017.

Lohani returns at a time when the government has started strengthening the Air India Board by inducting new experts into it. Minister for State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha while speaking at the CAPA Aviation Summit has said that the government wants Air India Board has to draw a complete revival plan for the carrier before going into disinvestment. Explaining the measures to revive Air India, the Minister said that around INR 29,000 crore debt has been hived off by creating a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), Air India Holdings, and as a result the debt burden has been eased to around INR 3,500 crore.

The Minister said that Air India is lot more efficient now with revenues growing at a rate of 20% with focus on full utilisation of the carriers available.

Lohani is known as a turn-around specialist and bringing back him assumes significance at a time the government has kept on hold the disinvestment plans for the national carrier. A top official of Air India has informed at the CAPA conference that the endeavour is to prepare Air India to ‘go with a better balance sheet” to the market whenever Air India decides to privatisation next time.
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