Government of India ready to support “leaner and trimmer” Air India

June 25th, 2009 - 2:18 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 25 (ANI): Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has said that the government is ready to help Air India on condition that the struggling state carrier must become “leaner and trimmer” to secure backing it needs to get through a liquidity crunch.

The carrier, which has said it wants to cut employee costs by five billion rupees annually and has asked senior employees to forego salaries and incentives in July, has sought extra cash through equity and soft loans from the government.

“The government’s support is there but the government’s support also comes with a condition that Air India must shape up, must become leaner and trimmer and also must put its best foot forward,” Patel told reporters here on Wednesday.

Patel did not say how much cash would be made available, but said the airline would not be given “an open-ended chequebook”.

“Air India will have to implement measures such as manpower restructuring, including of top management, and cost-cutting. Air India must submit its restructuring plan within a month,” he added.

Earlier this month, Patel had said an initial public offering of shares in Air India could be considered in the near future. (ANI)

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