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Air India's new head hopes to do a good job

india Updated: Aug 13, 2011 02:11 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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Rohit Nandan, a 1982-batch IAS official of Uttar Pradesh cadre, took over as the new Chairman and Managing Director of the beleaguered state-run carrier Air India Limited on Friday.

Nandan, who was earlier a joint secretary in the aviation ministry, has been appointed for a three-year term. His predecessor, Arvind Jadhav, has been repatriated back to his parent Karnataka cadre.

“I thank the government for the confidence reposed in me. I will try to create a healthy organisational culture, develop teamwork with a shared common vision, work very hard on the turnaround plan to reduce losses,” Nandan told HT.

“I hope to do a good job. It is a challenge and a privilege to be associated with Air India. Employee morale and financial health are my immediate priorities, which I will seek to improve,” he said.

A post graduate in history, Nandan did his MBA from UK.

Meanwhile, minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions V Narayanaswamy while replying to a calling attention motion on AI’s woes in Parliament that a turnaround panel will be formed, which will include senior management and union representatives.

“There will also be a rationalisation of loss-making routes, rescheduling of aircraft, return of leased aircraft, rationalisation of manpower and a reduction in contractual employment," Narayanaswamy said.

AI to appeal against Mangalore order
Contrary to the claim made by civil aviation minister that AI would not challenge the Kerala high court order to pay Rs 75 lakh each to the families of Mangalore crash victims the national carrier on Friday filed an appeal against the single bench verdict.

In the appeal the AI said its contentions were not properly heard and it was not in a position to pay a uniform compensation package. Initially, the AI and insurance consortium tried to settle the case offering compensation based on the income of the deceased. Majority of the victims belong to low-income group, relief offered to them was ranging between Rs 15 to Rs 35 lakh.

However a native of Kasargod Abdul Salam, who lost his son Mohamed Rafi (24) in the crash, moved the HC seeking better compensation. Initially he was offered a relief of Rs 35 lakh but he refused to accept it. Delivering the verdict on July 19 HC had said since India was a signatory to the Montreal Convention compensation should be in tune with the accepted norm.

“It is a cruel joke. It really shows how insensitive our national carrier is. I will fight them,” said Salam.