THE INDIAN government has named a new chairman for cash-strapped Air India which has been battling massive losses and fierce competition from private airlines, a report said on Friday (August 12).
Rohit Nandan, a senior aviation ministry bureaucrat, will replace incumbent Arvind Jadhav whose term was due to expire in May 2012 as chairman and managing director of the airline, into which the government which has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars.
Nandan, who is currently a joint secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, will serve a three-year term as chairman and managing director.
He will be taking over an airline which has been in the red since its 2007 merger with former domestic carrier Indian Airlines.
The airline said it had no immediate comment but earlier media reports had said Nandan was expected to be named to the post.
The government has injected some Rs 25bn ($550.78m/£338.34m) into the carrier and is expected to infuse another Rs12bn ($264.37m/£162.48m) into the airline this year.
The national carrier, which is also struggling to pay its staff, suffered a blow earlier this month when its bid to join the Star Alliance was grounded.
The global airline network said the carrier had not met minimum standards for membership in a range of areas from branding to ticketing.
Air India is waiting for government approval of a five-year turnaround plan that includes more government cash and a new business plan that would increase its fleet size, cut routes and set up network hubs.
The government has given no reason for replacing Jadhav. But his 23-month tenure in the job has been marred by industrial strife and worsening financial conditions at the airline.
During his time in the job, the airline racked up huge losses.