Parliamentary committee report damns AI, IA merger

New Delhi: A parliamentary committee Friday dubbed the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines as a "marriage of incompatible individuals" and has recommended that both aviation companies should function separately, though under a common holding company.

The Committee on Public Undertakings, which has been tasked to find "the root cause of malaises and propose ways for revival of the PSUs," presented its report on the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) to the Lok Sabha.

NACIL is the merged entity of the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines.

The committees report only serves to confirm strong impressions already created that the ambitious but ill-conceived move to merge two companies with differing work cultures and roles will now willy-nilly be reversed.

In a harsh indictment of the dramatic move to merge the state-owned domestic and international services, the report observes, "The so-called merger was an ill-conceived and erroneous decision neither arrived at by the two airlines on their own accord nor mutually considered by them to be in their best interests."

Interestingly, in comments made before the electronic media today, committee chairman V Kishore Chandra Deo made very strong observations saying that the individual or individuals responsible for this ill-fated decision ought to be brought to book.