Desperate Air India makes Baldauf COO

AIR India (AI), in an effort to recover its fortunes before it goes the same way as Japan Airlines, has just appointed Austrian Airlines’ executive vice-president flight operations, Gustav Baldauf, as chief operating officer.

AI is currently running with a debt of over US$3.8 billion.

Shortly before Baldauf’s appointment, AI also announced that it may scrap plans to make its cargo business an independent subsidiary.

The carrier’s parent company, NACIL, had originally decided to create six ‘strategic business units’ for AI Cargo, AI Express, ground handling and maintenance, repair and operations businesses.

Now it looks like AI management has had cold feet about the plans due to, so it says, India’s complex tax regulations.

AI Cargo contributes about eight per cent to the total revenues of the national carrier.

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