Indian civil aviation minister Praful Patel has revealed that the merged Air India-Indian Airlines entity will operate under the Air India name once the carriers complete their link-up.
The new Air India will have its registered office in New Delhi and its corporate office in Mumbai. Its offices for domestic operations and strategic business units will mostly be based in Delhi.
Earlier reports had suggested the merged carrier would be branded under the Air Indian name, reflecting the brands of the two operators.
But Patel explains: “As ‘Air India’ is a globally and nationally recognised brand name, as well as the designated airline in international bilaterals – the ‘AI’ code being available only to the existing name, it has been decided that the merged entity would continue with the same name.
“The design components of the new logo and livery have been drawn after merging some of the current features of both Air India and Indian Airlines.”
The new logo features a flying swan with the Konark chakra placed inside it. “The flying swan has been morphed from Air India’s characteristic logo, the ‘Centaur’ whereas the ‘Konark chakra’ is reminiscent of Indian’s logo,” the ministry says. The mascot of the merged airline will be the Maharaja.
Air India’s new livery is largely ivory, but will retain the red streak of the previous Air India on the base and feature parallel orange and red speed-lines running from the front to rear doors.
India’s cabinet in March gave the all-clear to plans to merge Air India and Indian Airlines and expected the single company to be in place this summer. Indian Airlines is a larger domestic carrier but Air India is more internationally recognised.