The long-planned merger of Air India and Indian Airlines has finally become reality following the completion of remaining legal formalities. The final backing came from the Indian ministry of corporate affairs, which approved the merger of the two airlines under a holding company called National Aviation Company of India.

The actual integration of the two airlines' operations will probably take around two years to complete and the enlarged carrier will operate under the Air India name.

Their respective low-cost carriers, Air India Express and Alliance Air, are due to integrate their operations next month, when the Alliance name is expected to be eliminated.

Air India and Indian have both been modernising and enlarging their fleets in recent years and Air India head V Thulasidas, who is now the chairman and managing director of the enlarged carrier, said recently that proposals are being put together for the purchase of many more aircraft.

The new carrier is also seeking to join a multilateral alliance and Star Alliance is known to be its first choice.


Source: Flight International