Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Air India has emerged as the favourite brand name of the new entity after the merger of the two state-owned carriers, highly placed sources in the Civil Aviation Ministry said here on Thursday.

Discussions were on between the consultant and senior Ministry officials, and several parameters such as brand recall both domestically and globally were being taken into consideration.

"An analysis of brand name has been done and it appears that Air India is a better known brand name internationally and is equally well known domestically. Moreover we can also retain the international code by retaining the name Air India," the sources said.

As the Ministry is said to be in favour of ensuring continuity after the new brand name comes into being, chances are that Air India chief V. Thulasidas will continue to head the merged airline for some time.

Indian's orange colour, with which the domestic airline has come to be identified, would be retained in some form or the other but the mascot would most certainly be the "Maharajah" of Air India, the sources said.