A group of ministers (GoM) will meet in the next few weeks to discuss the issue of foreign airlines being allowed to pick a stake in domestic Indian carriers.
“Finally, the cabinet will take the decision. The committee of secretaries has already recommended raising the FDI limits in the sector,” said Ajit Singh, civil aviation minister, on Wednesday.
“The government is not in a position and will not bail out any private airlines. Air India is a public sector unit, so government has an obligation. But Air India will have to become competitive and restructure their costs... as the government cannot keep on pouring money,” he said.
Asked about demands by private airlines for a bailout package, he said they will have to come up with a viable business plan. “If the banks are satisfied with their plans and think they can recover their money then they will lend money,” he said, adding that the banks would have to go by the RBI norms.
“There are problems. Industry has grown so fast in past few years. There is shortage of trainee pilots, of stewardess... there are financial implications. But as far as question of jeopardising the safety of passengers is concern, their is no such fear. There is no compromise, DGCA will not compromise and the ministry will not compromise,” Singh said.