Praful Patel says nursing Air India his top priority

May 29th, 2009 - 12:30 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Nursing state-run carrier Air India back to financial health will be the top priority for Praful Patel, as he listed his main agenda for the ministry soon after being named minister of state for civil aviation once again.
“As soon as I was given aviation (portfolio), I got a call from the Air India chairman and managing director. I said Air India was my top priority,” said Patel, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

“Air India has not been performing well in the recent past. We have to get it back on track,” said Patel.

Air India, which is now estimated to be grappling with losses worth nearly Rs.40 billion ($800 million), had recently inducted Arvind Jadhav as its chairman and managing director.

Patel said infrastructure development for the Indian aviation space was also an issue that ranked high on his list of priorities, even as he said the process to upgrade and modernise most airports in the country will be put on the fast track.

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