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New boss for more AI equity

india Updated: Mar 27, 2008 23:19 IST
Samiran saha

Chairman and managing director designate of National Aviation Company of India Limited, (formed following the merger of state owned carrier Air-India and Indian Airlines), Raghu Menon on Thursday said that he would try for more equity infusion for the airline.

“I will try to get some more equity infused in the airline, this will also help us repay loans that we have taken for fleet acquisition” Menon said addressing the media after being selected as chairman for the state run carrier.

Menon however did not specify how he intends to raise fresh equity and said, “it is too premature to comment on an Initial Public Offer, a decision on how to how to raise funds will be taken by the board.”

The airline incurred a loss of Rs 700 crores in the last financial year Menon said, “this year’s figures (of losses) will give us a fair idea where we stand and what we need to do.”

Menon, a financial advisor with the ministry of civil aviation till he assumes his new office said his priority will be improve the revenues, yields of the airline and will also look at pruning expenditure to make the airline fiscally fit.

Regarding voluntary retirement scheme for employees, the chairman designate said “Board will consider this option if necessary.”

On being asked what his short and long-term goals were for the airline Menon said, “the goals are all the same, I want our passengers to have a great traveling experience. There is immense potential and I will have a dialogue with the airlines’ unions to see how we can improve productivity.”

Menon said the he felt honoured as he was about to occupy the chair that was occupied by none other than the legendary JRD Tata who was chairman Air-India for 20 long years.