The Union Cabinet has given the final nod on the mega-merger of the two national carriers, Air India and Indian. The merger would turn the new entity into a large airline, with a combined fleet of about 120 aircraft and a staff strength of 30,000, capable of taking global competition head-on. The public sector character of the merged airline would continue.
By 2010-11, when all the new aircraft ordered by the two carriers are inducted into the fleet, the merged entity’s employee-aircraft ratio would come down to about 200:1, comparable with any major global airline. While Air India has ordered 68 Boeing planes, Indian has finalised the acquisition of 43 Airbus aircraft.