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US airlines should look within: AI

Top Air India (AI) officials have reacted angrily to the reports that American carriers have opposed the US Exim Bank's $3.4 billion support to it to buy Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

world Updated: Nov 14, 2011 21:21 IST
HT Correspondent

Top Air India (AI) officials have reacted angrily to the reports that American carriers have opposed the US Exim Bank's $3.4 billion support to it to buy Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

"I don't think AI securing loans from US Exim bank should worry American carriers. It only shows their insecurity," a top AI official, who did not wish to be quoted said.

"Before pointing fingers at us, American airlines should look within. We don't say we are the best but what about them. How many of them are making profits?" questioned another AI official.

Air Transport Association (ATA), a trade group representing America's biggest airlines, had sent a letter to US Export-Import Bank chairman Fred Hochberg opposing the decision, saying AI's financial ill-health should disqualify it from getting American help, PTI reported.

It quoted ATA's counsel Michael Kelloggis saying that AI was "generally considered one of the shakiest, riskiest and most poorly-run airlines in the world."

In its response, Exim Bank's general counsel said the bank stood by its decisions and processes. "AI's borrowing is backed by a sovereign guarantee of the Indian government and its business plan has been vetted by Exim Bank staff," it quoted a US government official as saying.