Foreign Investor Bids For 49% Share In Debt Strapped Air India
Union Civil Aviation Minister Gajapathi Raju informs that a foreign carrier has shown interest in buying out Air India’s foreign operations.
Air India was speaking about disinvestment from past 20 years and now the plan is at least taking shape. After much discussion and deliberations, this domestic carrier is at least going to be released from the debt trap. As per Civil Aviation Minister Gajapathi Raju, the debt of Air India which stands more than Rs50, 000 crores can come down after this massive disinvestment; as per the minister an international player is keen on purchasing the foreign operations of Air India.
It is also in news that flight service provider IndiGo has sent a letter to the minister showing interest in buying the foreign operations of the discussed flight; agreeing to this news Mr. Raju said that there is also another foreign flight in line who wants to buy 49% stakes of Air India foreign flights.
As per the minister after a close scrutiny it might be found out that the total debt of Air India might be somewhere around Rs 70,000 crores. He said that he has rightly said in the Parliament that the carrier is under a debt trap.
The Minister also spoke about their initiative UDAAN which is focused on increasing the regional air connectivity. He went on to express his grievance against the Chief Ministers of several states whom he has approached to reduce the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) but did not get positive response. He also informed about how lowering the ATF rate at Andhra Pradesh helped the aviation sector.
Within the UDAAN initiative, 36 airports and helipads were introduced and at present the number stands at 56. The ministry wants more expansion and hence more finance is needed; while the total requirement is Rs 600 crores, this year the need is at least of Rs 200 crores.