Rajiv Bansal has been given a three-month extension as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of disinvestment-bound Air India, according to a senior government official.
The tenure extension for Bansal as CMD comes at a time when the government is in the process of finalising the modalities for the airline's strategic disinvestment.
A civil aviation ministry official today said Bansal has been given an extension as CMD of Air India for three months.
An order in this regard was issued on Thursday. During his three-month tenure, Air India launched services to Copenhagen, among others.
He also initiated various steps to reduce costs and improve on-time performance of flights. "We will plan to work on profitability with a missionary zeal, improve our on time performance and ensure customer satisfaction," Bansal had said soon after assuming charge as the CMD in August.
He was initially appointed for a period of three months. Bansal, who is also additional secretary and financial adviser at the petroleum ministry, is a 1988-batch IAS officer of the Nagaland cadre. He hails from Haryana.
The airline, which has a debt burden of over Rs 50,000 crore, managed to eke out operational profit for the first time in a decade in 2015-16.
As part of efforts to revive the fortunes of Air India, which is staying afloat on taxpayers' money, the government has started the disinvestment process for the airline.
Under a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA regime, Air India is to receive up to Rs 30,231 crore from the government subject to meeting certain performance thresholds.
The ten-year bailout package began from 2012. So far, the embattled carrier has received around Rs 26,000 crore under the package.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) gave its in-principle nod for the strategic disinvestment of the airline in June this year.