Air India appoints new chairman

Singapore
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Air India has appointed Rohit Nandan as its new chairman and managing director, replacing Arvind Jadhav with immediate effect.

Nandan, a career civil servant, was most recently joint secretary in India's civil aviation ministry. A spokesman from the state-owned airline said the Indian government is deciding on Jadhav's future assignment. Jadhav was appointed to the job in 2009.

The appointment of Nandan comes as the civil aviation ministry is under increasing pressure to improve the airline's financial performance. Air India estimates a loss of Indian rupees (Rs) 69.94 billion ($154 million) in its 2010-2011 financial year, and has received a number of equity infusions from the government.

Air India is restructuring its debt, which is estimated to be around $4 billion. This will take about three months to complete, civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi has said.

Earlier this month, Star Alliance suspended the carrier's plans to join the group, saying that Air India had not met the minimum membership conditions.