Ashwani Lohani once again appointed as Air India CMD

Lohani is expected to assume office from September.

Ashwani Lohani once again appointed as Air India CMD

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday once again approved the appointment of Ashwani Lohani as Air India Chairman & Managing Director on a contract basis.

Lohani retired as the Railway Board Chairman last year. The government in August 2017 moved Lohani, from Air India to the Railway Board as its chairman. His first term as the CMD of the national carrier was in August 2015.

Lohani, the engineer-turned-bureaucrat, will succeed Rohit Nandan, a 1982 batch UP cadre IAS officer and is expected to assume office from September. Previously, he has also served as ITDC chairman as well as the director of the Rail Museum.

Hailed as a turnaround specialist, he is taking over as Air India CMD at a time when the government is working on the modalities for the disinvestment of the loss-making national carrier.

The loss-making Air India is estimated to have a debt burden of over Rs 48,000 crore and the government's efforts for strategic disinvestment of the carrier failed in May last year.

Air India has been making losses since the merger with Indian Airlines in 2007. The airline has a fleet size of around 122 aircraft currently.