April 1, 2007 will be the official date of merger of the state-owned ailing airline siblings — Air India (AI) and Indian Airlines (IA).
The Justice Dharamdhikari Committee report, which was formed to look into merger related issues and is to be released on Friday, has accepted this as the official date of merger of the troubled carriers. All decisions taken by the airline after this date are likely to stand.
The report, sources said, has recommended a drastic cut in the free passages —each passage means a free return ticket — provided to airline employees. At present, even after retirement, employees are entitled to a fixed number of free passages.The Committee has also recommended linking salaries and allowances of employees, except that of engineers, pilots and cabin crew, to that of department of public enterprises (DPE) guidelines. Salaries of all public sector undertakings are as per these guidelines.
The proposal to merge the two companies had received the Cabinet's approval on March 1, 2007 and consequent to the government's decision a new company, National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), was incorporated on March 30 under the Companies Act. The AI Board on May 4 approved the amalgamation of AI and IA with NACIL.
It was decided that post AI-IA merger, the new entity will be known as Air India while "Maharaja" will be retained as it mascot. The final order on merger was passed by the ministry of corporate affairs on August 22 and merger became effective on August 27.
Consequently, both AI Ltd and IA Ltd were dissolved. All assets, liabilities, obligations of both these companies were taken over by the new company.