Sale of IA and A-I not necessary: Praful Patel - Hindustan Times

Sale of IA and A-I not necessary: Praful Patel

PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi
May 31, 2004 06:50 PM IST

The Civil Aviation Minister said privatisation is not the solution and his priority would be to bring back A-I and IA to their past glory.

Observing that privatisation was not the only way to strengthen the two public sector carriers, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Monday his priority would be to strengthen Indian Airlines and Air India and bring them back to their past glory.

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"Selling is not the only solution," Patel told reporters when asked whether the Government stake in the national and international flag carriers would be reduced. He was talking to reporters at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan after assuming charge.

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Asserting that he would work to strengthen the IA and AI, he said, "I will ensure that the two carriers will retain their past glory."

"For more than a decade neither of the two airlines have purchased any new aircraft. They have only taken planes on dry lease. My ministry will lay special emphasis on strengthening the two carriers so that there is a healthy competition with the private sector," he said.

Stating that his ministry would lay special emphasis on bringing the Comprehensive Civil Aviation Policy, Patel said, "In this we will ensure that Air India is made capable of capturing inbound and outgoing traffic to various foreign destination."

The "very low" passenger-carrying capacity of Air India had paved way for private airlines to bring and take traffic from and to foreign destinations.

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