Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) has selected global consulting firm McKinsey and Co. to help the airline to develop its business plan, reports The Economic Times of India. As the successful consultancy, McKinsey will advise Air India on cash-flow, route networks, marketing strategies and updating its loyalty program.

The appointment comes after a tender process, which also shortlisted EY and Bain. Speaking earlier this year when the shortlist was announced, Air India's managing director Ashwani Lohani, told Live Mint that the successful group will be expected to "help look into product development, brand management, market share, competitiveness, frequent flier programme and the entire business model. Basically tell us what we need to do urgently."

The troubled national carrier has been dependent on a government bail-out package since 2012. The Economic Times says that the government hopes to double the airline's fleet size – which currently stands at 103 – in the next four years through leasing models, and hopes to be profitable by 2019-2020.

"We have decided not to seek any additional budgetary support except for the turnaround plan approved for the airline earlier," aviation secretary R N Choubey said. "The airline will lease aircraft and has the resources to make the payment that needs to be made for leasing."

McKinsey is a management analysis and consulting firm with offices around the globe. It has a dedicated air transportation service section which provides research and advice on strategy, revenue management, network optimisation, alliances and joint ventures, and general operations.