Air India may offer voluntary retirement to 15000 ahead of sale

Air India is drawing up a proposal to offer voluntary buyouts to just over a third of its 40,000 employees, a senior company official said, one of the largest such offers in India's state sector, as the airline slashes costs ahead of a 2018 sale.

The official, who could not be named as the plans are not public, said the state-owned airline had also put fleet expansion on hold, scrapping a proposal to lease eight Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft. Air India's board approved the proposal in April but nothing further had been done.

India's flag carrier is on the block after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet last month approved plans to privatise the loss-making airline by selling part or all of the company and ending decades of state support.

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