Air India has cleared for takeoff a tender process for PR as the government-owned national flagship carrier looks to burnish its image in India and abroad.

air indiaThe airline, which does not have a firm on retainer, wants an agency with a strong in-country presence that also has experience in PR for multinational or top corporate companies, major airlines (other than Indian carriers), or the travel and tourism sector.

It is slated for join the industry's Star Alliance this year, a Germany-based network of global carriers that includes United Airlines and the soon-to-be-merged US Airways in the U.S.

India's First Post reported the airline's image "has taken a severe beating" because of a "dismal on-time performance and frequent work and pay-related issues with employees."

The work includes the charge to "nurture & enhance the profile of Air India" with consumers, shareholders and the media. Reputation management, market intelligence, crisis communications, digital, IR and internal communications are all covered in a scope of work.

Air India's corporate communications operation is based in New Delhi.

Proposals are due April 4. View the RFP at http://www.airindia.com/tenders.htm?1.