Mr Kharola, who took over as chairman and managing director of the disinvestment-bound national carrier earlier this month, also said the onus to steer the company out of turbulence lies on everyone.
"We have to adopt a professional and productive work culture which will hold the key for our turnaround....your hard work has helped Air India to improve in some of the key operational parameters in recent times, but still, we have miles to go," the AI chief said in his New Year message.
The government is currently working on modalities for strategic disinvestment of the loss-making national carrier.
Mr Kharola also urged employees to pull out all stops and "cast aside the deterrents that have been holding the flag carrier back from tapping the immense potential".
"The onus is on us to steer our company out of turbulence into clear skies again with single-minded determination and grit. We must...aim to improve our performance in every sphere to match up to industry benchmarks," he said.
"I implore all of you to sustain this effort to resurrect the pride and glory of the airline....We have to perform if we do not want to perish," Mr Kharola said.
Air India has to beat competition in on-time- performance, load factor and cleanliness among other parameters, he said, adding, "amidst all the talk about our future identity, we have to stay focused and deliver."
On June 28, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave in-principle approval to privatise Air India and its five subsidiaries.
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