Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Tuesday announced that the Centre was working on a revival plan for state-run carrier Air India, ANI reported.
“In light of the industry conditions, we have put that decision [disinvestment of Air India] aside and are working on a revival plan,” he said. The revival plan will be ready in two to three weeks, News18 quoted him as saying.
Sinha had said in September that discussions on a bailout package for the airline were at an “advanced stage”. A month before that, he had claimed the ministry was working on a comprehensive package to make Air India globally competitive again before the Centre divests its shares.
The government had planned to divest 76% stake in Air India, ignoring a parliamentary panel’s recommendation to give the debt-ridden airline five years to revive itself. The proposed stake sale, however, failed to take off as the Centre did not receive any expressions of interest from potential bidders by the end of its May 31 deadline.
In 2012, the government had promised to infuse Rs 50,000 crore in the airline till 2032. The company has received Rs 27,195 crore till date.
In July, the Centre had sought Parliament’s approval to sanction a Rs 980-crore supplementary grant for investment in equity shares for Air India during the 2018-’19 financial year. Reports said the airline had requested additional equity from the government worth Rs 2,121 crore for the 2018-’19 financial year so that it can pay its vendors. The carrier owes about Rs 1,800 crore to its vendors.
The airline’s total cumulative losses stood at Rs 47,145.62 crore in financial year 2016-’17, according to audited accounts.