Government to induct five directors on Air India board

New Delhi: Badly struggling state-owned carrier Air India is scouting for five directors to occupy vacant slots on its board of directors. While three of these will be functional directors, in-charge of major divisions within the carrier, there will be two independent directors appointed from the industry at large.

The appointments are expected sometime over the next two months.

State-owned carrier, Air India, is struggling with accumulated losses of over Rs13,000 crore, debts totalling Rs40,000 crore and a rapidly eroding market share.

The three functional directors will be assigned to the airline's commercial, personnel and finance divisions. The carrier will seek talent from the industry for the vacant post of independent directors. According to sources from within the airline, they may tap prominent personalities from the banking and hospitality sectors for the slot.

The airline's board is running short of two independent directors after vice-chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group, Anand G Mahindra, and former FICCI secretary general, Amit Mitra, resigned early this year.

Mahindra stepped down citing "conflict of interest" with his company, Mahindra and Mahindra, spreading its wings in the aerospace sector and Mitra eventually ended up fighting local elections in the state of West Bengal and getting elected as a representative to the assembly. He is now minister for industries in the Trinamool-Congress alliance now in power in that state.