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A-I gets full-time CMD after 9 years
December 22, 2003 14:42 IST
Last Updated: December 22, 2003 18:49 IST
National flag carrier Air-India finally got a full-time chairman and managing director after nine years when V Thulasidas, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service of Tripura cadre, took over the reins of the airline on Monday.
In the interim, the international carrier had several part-time chairmen, mostly civil avaition secretaries. Y C Devashwar was the last to hold the post of a full-time chairman-cum-managing director from February 1991 to November 1994, said public relations director Jitender Bhargava.
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Thulasidas, who was under-secretary in the civil aviation ministry in the early '80s and former chief secretary of Tripura for the last eight years, was appointed Air-India CMD by the government last week for a three-year tenure from December 22.
The new CMD met the departmental heads and discussed various priority issues and corporate vision of the airline, according to an A-I official.
He said A-I needs to adjust and reformulate, if necessary, its policy to take on competition and the growing demand to meet the traffic growth. For this, he said it was necessary to add more capacity, either through fleet expansion or acquisition.
Thulasidas said one more leased Boeing 747-400 joined the fleet on Monday, taking the fleet strength to 34 aircraft.
Asked about the future fleet strength of Air-India in the context of the growing market, he said it could even be up to 60 aircraft either through lease or acquisition. A-I needs to grow and build capacity and if there is an environment of competition the airline needs to adjust to it, he added.
The airline board had already approved a proposal for 28 aircraft -- 10 Airbus A340s and 18 Boeing 737-800s worth Rs 10,500 crore (Rs 105 billion) -- two months ago.