Wednesday, October 03, 2018

ED probing Air India's flying rights pacts with Gulf countries

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating bilateral air services agreements signed with West Asian countries between 2001 and 2012 as well as aircraft purchases by the state owned Air India during that period, said people with knowledge of the matter. Besides examining the “policy decisions” taken by officials, ED has sought documents from the civil aviation ministry as part of its probe into the procedures followed by the Congress-led UPA governments (2004-14).
The investigation, which follows an audit report and inquiries by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), will also look into the impact that the bilateral agreements had on the operations of debt-laden Air India.
The carrier is currently seeking yet another government bailout after a privatisation effort came to nought earlier this year.
“ED has sought details of bilaterals signed with Gulf countries between 2001 and 2012 and documents signed with Dubai, Sharjah and Qatar during the period,” said a senior government official, who did not want to be identified. “ED is also looking into the government’s decision to sign separate bilaterals with Dubai and Abu Dhabi and not one bilateral with the United Arab Emirates.”
03/10/18 Mihir Mishra/Raghav Ohri/Economic Times

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