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AI may get No 2 on board to fly it out of debt

business Updated: Jan 13, 2015 00:27 IST

National carrier Air India (AI), which is in the midst of implementing a turnaround plan that would see it turn profitable by 2018, could soon get a new joint managing director, the official No. 2 in the airline.

Senior aviation ministry officials are in favour of appointing the senior-most functional director on the airline’s board for the post, sources said. The joint MD’s post fell vacant last month after Syed Nasir Ali completed his tenure. At present, S Venkat, director, finance, is the senior-most functional director.

Two senior directors in the aviation ministry, Puja Jindal and Shefali Juneja, were also being considered for the post, sources added. Jindal has been handling the charge of Air India in the ministry for over two years.

Ali, who had an extremely successful tenure as joint MD, too, was a director in the aviation ministry before being appointed to the post in July 2012.

“The post of joint MD is extremely important. In the absence of the CMD, the joint MD is the all-important person,” a senior official said.

The duties of joint MD include the implementation of the Justice Dharmadhikari Committee report on pay parity and negotiations with the airline’s unions for its implementation and monetisation of AI’s assets.

“The joint MD also handles issues relating to Parliament proceedings and decisions regarding ancillary revenuethe official said.