Air India, Indian Airlines'' directors jostle for posts in merged airline

Directors and executive directors of Air-India and Indian Airlines are heavily lobbying civil aviation ministry officials to bag the best posts in the newly formed National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL). The main fight, apparently, is over who will head NACIL''s six strategic business units and seven subsidiaries.

Since Air-India''s director of finance S Punhani is due to retire this month, his counterpart in Indian Airlines S Chandrasekhar should be the incumbent for the post, say government officials. But there is no clarity regarding other names. For each directorial position, there are at least two contenders, if not more. Some of them may be asked to head strategic business units as well.

The government will announce the names of the new directors within a week. The eight functional directors will be members of the board, while the 39 executive directors will handle new responsibilities.

Since NACIL will have 54 executive directors, several general managers are expected to be promoted. But the number of executive directors will be reduced to 39 within three years, sources said.

The NACIL top management currently comprises chairman and managing director V Thulasidas, deputy managing director Vishwapati Trivedi and three directors from the ministry, including Raghu Menon, R K Singh and Rajiv Bansal.