State carriers to merge as Air India, will operate as the National Airline Company Ltd: Praful Patel

New Delhi: The new entity that will emerge following the merger of state-run carriers Indian and Air India would be called Air India and will have the 'Maharaja' as the mascot, civil aviation minister Praful Patel announced on Tuesday.

The merged carrier's new logo would also reflect the continuity with the merging of the Indian Airlines 'Chakra' and Air India's 'Centaur' insignia, he said.

According to Patel, the merged entity's registered office would be in New Delhi and corporate office in Mumbai. The carrier's domestic operations and special business sections would be based in Delhi.

Patel also said that the merged entity would start functioning from July as the National Airline Company Ltd (NACL). The new entity would also go for an initial public offer in 2008, he added.

Delivery of new aircraft, including Boeing 777-200 (LR) and A 321's would begin from July, he said. With deliveries of new aircraft commencing in July, Air India would launch a direct non-stop flight from Mumbai to New York soon after, followed by a non-stop Delhi-New York flight, he said.