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Air India buyer can use its iconic Maharaja mascot

Buyer may get airline’s master brand and logo along with the iconic Maharaja mascot.

Updated: Oct 21, 2019, 11.50 AM IST
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Air India
The government is keen to push through the sale of Air India this year. It has already removed a major hurdle by transferring debt to a special purpose vehicle.
The new buyer of Air India, which the government hopes to sell shortly, will get the master brand and logos associated with the state-owned airliner, including the iconic Maharaja mascot. However, subsidiaries such as Air India Express, the profitable low-fare carrier, won’t be included in the main sale and will be divested separately. These units won’t be able to use the master brand and logos once a new owner for Air India is in place, according to people with knowledge of the matter. sub-brands is being examined… Value of the brand will be part of the total valuation of the airline,” said a top official. “There are 12 subbrands with Air India which are being examined for severance.”

The issue figured at an Air India disinvestment meeting called by the civil aviation ministry on Friday. Air India management will take stock of the brands and logos. The carrier’s logo is a red swan emblazoned with the Konark Chakra in orange. The swan was adapted from Air India's old centaur logo while the chakra is from Indian Airlines logo. The two state-owned carriers were merged in 2007 under Air India. The Maharaja, which first appeared in 1946, has been a popular brand “Severance of Air India with other identity associated with the airline.

Air India Express, Alliance Air and Air India Singapore Terminal Services Ltd will be excluded from the main Air India deal, as will Air India Air Transport Services and Air India Engineering Services. These will be sold separately, according to the people cited above. After the sale of the parent airline and a new owner is in place, the sub-brands can’t use the master brand and logos, they said.

The government is keen to push through the sale of Air India this year. It has already removed a major hurdle by transferring debt to a special purpose vehicle. The document seeking expressions of interest from bidders is expected to be issued next month.

A final call on key aspects of the sale will be taken by the AI specific alternative mechanism headed by home minister Amit Shah. Others on the panel are finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri.

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