‘Air India-Indian merger will benefit flyers’

DUBAI — The merger of India’s state owned carriers -Air India and Indian- will add more benefits to the passengers in terms of cost, schedules, service, and network, a top official has said.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 10 Oct 2007, 8:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:47 AM

Jitender Bhargava, executive director, Corporate Communication, Air India, told Khaleej Times yesterday that the merger process of the airlines was currently under way and would be completed soon.

“The merger of top management is almost over. The merger at other levels is expected soon. Passengers will benefit from this as the merger will open more options to them with regard to schedules. It will also expand the frequency,” Bhargava said.

Bhargava disclosed that the Air India had ordered for 111 new aircraft to expand it fleet. Of these, 16 aircraft have already been delivered and the rest are expected to be delivered by 2011.

“We have plans to start our own networks for ground handling, engineering and related areas to offer services to other carriers operating in India. The civil aviation industry in India is growing day by day and we have solid plans to meet the future demands,” Bhargava said.

“In the past years, Air India has introduced new destinations. With the merger, we’ll have more destinations, with higher frequencies. We recently launched a direct flight from Nagpur to Dubai. Dubai-Jaipur service will start on October 28. We have plans to start Dubai-Goa direct flight soon,” Bhargava said.

Bhargava pointed out that the civil aviation industry in India had gone through revolutionary changes in the past five years. “India is one of the biggest markets in the world. The merger will help the national carrier to meet the new challenges that the market demands. Our policies will be focused on customer satisfaction,” he said.

Commenting on passengers’ complaints of flight delays, Bhargava said: “It happens with all airlines. But with the merger, the frequency of our flights will be higher and we’ll be able to give options to passengers to fly with another aircraft within a short time.”

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