Following stake sale fiasco, Air India set for a revamp

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Mumbai | Published: June 26, 2018 6:13:01 AM

In the next 18 months, you will see a visible change— Piyush Goyal Interim finance minister

The government had earlier said that while the divestment efforts of Air India is over for the time being. (Reuters)

After a failed attempt at selling loss-making Air India to private players, the government is now attempting a turnaround of sorts for the airline by getting in a new thrust on improving efficiencies and strengthening management practices at the airline over the next 18 months, interim finance minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

The government had earlier said that while the divestment efforts of Air India is over for the time being, it is on its radar in the long run and in the meantime its efficiency and operational parameters would be improved.

Commenting on zero interest shown by private players in buying a 76% stake in Air India, Goyal said, “Due to high oil prices the last three months was not the most conducive for investors but this phase
will pass.”

Indicating a revamp of operational aspects of the airline and also bringing about financial efficiencies, Goyal said that there is a new thrust on improving the efficiency and strengthen management practices, and visible changes will be seen over the next 18 months.

“There will be enough interest in going to the market post that,” he said.

Sources said that the government will aggressively look at revamping the booking and reservations systems at Air India and will look at dynamic pricing mechanisms as there is still some large manual intervention in the booking systems that Air India relies upon. Also, it will be looking at how to optimise the front end of the seats of the aircraft that is the business class passengers which Air India has not been able to fill up on its international routes.

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