‘From time to time, government is providing support to Air India’

NEW DELHI: The government of India is providing required support to debt-laden Air India from time to time and no money is being given to the airline without checks and balances, a senior official said Monday.

The national carrier, which is staying afloat on taxpayers’ money, is working on ways to revive its fortunes.

Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said that from time to time, whatever support Air India needs that is being provided.

“Without checks and balances, no money would be given to them. Efficiency and improvement, which Air India has to ensure, are being monitored,” he told reporters here.

Earlier this year, the government’s efforts for strategic disinvestment of Air India failed to take off as no bidders evinced interest when the deadline for initial bids ended on May 31.

Choubey also said that equity infusion has been made into the airline.

An official said the government is looking at restructuring the Air India’s debt.

It has been making losses since its merger with Indian Airlines in 2007. It is estimated to have a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore.

The national carrier is surviving on a bailout package extended by the previous UPA regime in 2012.

The airline’s accumulative losses stood at Rs 47,145.62 crore in financial year 2016-17, owing to high interest burden, and increasing competition among others, as per its audited accounts.

Source: Press Trust of India

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