NITI Aayog says it’s ‘unviable’ to support Air India: Govt | business news | Hindustan Times
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NITI Aayog says it’s ‘unviable’ to support Air India: Govt

The total outstanding loans of Air India as on September 30, 2017 stood at Rs 51,890 crore as per provisional figures.

business Updated: Jan 02, 2018 22:21 IST
File photo of Air India aircraft at Mumbai International Airport.
File photo of Air India aircraft at Mumbai International Airport.(Mint)

The government’s premier policy advisory body NITI Aayog has said in its report on the debt- laden Air India that it was “unviable” to provide financial support to the national carrier, the Centre told Parliament on Tuesday.

Air India has a debt of Rs 51,890 crore.

The government has initiated a process for strategic disinvestment of Air India as part of efforts to revive the national carrier.

As part of a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA dispensation, Air India was to receive a bailout package of up to Rs 30,231 crore for a period of 10 years, starting in 2012.

“NITI Aayog in its report on Air India has stated that further financial support to an unviable non-priority company in a matured and competitive aviation sector would not be the best use of scarce financial resources of the government,” minister of state for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha in response to a question.

The total outstanding loans of Air India as on September 30 last year stood at Rs 51,890 crore as per provisional figures. Of this, the aircraft loans account for Rs 18,364 crore and the working capital loans were at Rs 33,526 crore.

In 2016-17, the airline had a net loss of Rs 3,643 crore, while the operating profit rose to Rs 215 crore, the provisional figures showed.

The embattled carrier has received around Rs 26,000 crore under the UPA-sanctioned bailout package.

In June this year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its in-principle nod to the strategic disinvestment of the airline.

A ministerial group is now working on the disinvestment modalities, including the treatment of Air India’s unsustainable debt, hiving off of certain assets to a shell company, demerger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries.

99 emergency landings in 2 yrs, nearly 1/3 of these by Air India planes

There were a total of 99 instances of emergency landings by aircraft in the country in the past two years, the government informed Parliament on Tuesday.

However, the total number of emergency landings fell by 35 per cent in 2017 as compared to the previous year.

There were total 60 cases of emergency landings in 2016 and 39 cases in 2017, according to data shared by minister of state for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha in the Rajya Sabha.

Of these, Air India accounted for nearly a third of such instances, with 27 emergency landings.

Jet Airways had 14 emergency landings, SpiceJet had 11 such incidents and IndiGo saw 10 cases.

Various international carriers, including Lufthansa, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Nepal Airlines, and Sri Lanka Airlines accounted for 12 incidents of emergency landings over the past two years.

As far as the violation of air safety norms was concerned, Air India group registered total 77 cases last year until November, which is a 13 per cent increase over cases of safety breaches in 2016.

Private carriers in the country recorded 199 cases altogether last year until November, registering a 30 per cent decline in violations as compared to 2016 when their violations were at 279.