Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday acknowledged that national carrier Air India was passing through a "difficult phase", but sought to put the blame for the situation on global recession and high costs of operations.
"Air India is passing through a difficult phase as a result of global recession and high cost of operation. Equity support has been injected in 2010 and 2011. Turn-around plan of Air India is being closely monitored," Singh said in the report- "Government of the UPA: Report to the people"- on completion of two years of UPA-II.
He also praised public sector helicopter service Pawan Hans, which has been in the news for the wrong reasons due to a spate of crashes recently. "Pawan Hans has introduced sea plane operations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a pilot project to connect Port Blair and Havelock and other islands in North Andaman," Singh said.
He lauded some of the achievements of his government in the field of civil aviation like completion of Phase-I work of Indira Gandhi International Airport and Terminal 3 becoming operational in July 2010.
The IGI airport, which can handle 34 million passengers per annum, was adjudged the fourth best in the world.
Two mega projects are being undertaken at Chennai and Kolkata airports for their modernisation and development.
Singh said India participated in the Assembly Session of the International Civil Aviation Organisation held in 2010 in which it was re-elected to the Council of ICAO.