In pursuit of profit, Air India shortlists 3 consulting firms

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Loss-making national carrier Air India has shortlisted three top consulting companies – McKinsey and Co., Bain and Co., and EY – to beef up its business strategy, according to

Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director of the state-run airline, said the firms had been shortlisted based on several presentations that had been made after Air India floated a tender last October inviting proposals for the project.

“They [the firms] will helps us in improving our network, cash flow and other things,” said Lohani.

A person privy to development was quoted as saying that the financial bids are yet to be opened for the contracts that will initially be for three to six months and may be followed by two more phases. The person said the selected firm’s mandate would be to tell the airline what it urgently needs to do, apart from looking into product development, brand management, market share, competitiveness, frequent flier programme and the entire business model,

Air India last hired consultants for a major project in 2006, when Accenture Plc executed a merger between Air India and Indian Airlines.

The national carrier, which has the largest fleet in the country with 140 planes, has 14.6 percent of market share in the domestic passenger market. Under a financial restructuring plan in 2012, Air India was slated to receive Rs 30,231 crore equity infusion, 75 percent of which it has received so far.

The airline’s losses have reduced of late, with Air India reporting a loss of about Rs3,587 crore in 2015-16, from a loss of Rs 5,859 crore in the previous year.