Thursday, March 02, 2017

Air India govt sell-off rumours denied by Aviation Secretary

India's Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey has denied rumours that government is planning to sell its 51% stake in Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l), reports Bloomberg. Citing informed sources, the Bloomberg report says that initial presentations have been made to the Finance Minister and to the office of the Prime Minister about the sell-off.

Air India has suffered poor financial performance for the past several years, surviving on a government bailout of INR300 billion (USD4.3 billion) granted to it in 2012. The national airline currently faces a debt of around INR460 billion (USD6.7 billion), but posted an operational profit last year for the first time in over a decade.

In mid-2016, Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani opened talks with creditor banks over the possible conversion of INR100 billion (USD1.49 billion) worth of debt to equity under the Reserve Bank of India's Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets, or S4A, however nothing seems to have happened toward this end.
02/03/17 ch-aviation

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