Monday, October 29, 2018

How Air India is trying to take flight again

There are reports that say that Air India, India’s national carrier, is planning to rope in professionals from the industry at market compensation to turn itself around. With no takers for its divestment plan, Niti Aayog has advised it to improve the airline’s financials and then sell it, so that it attracts bidders and fetches a better price, say reports.

Some other reports say that there are plans to sell AI’s low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and ground-handling unit to improve its financial position and do the divestment of the airline itself at a later date. The minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said earlier this month that a revival package for the airline is in the works and would be announced soon.

Air India has been loss-making ever since its merger with Indian Airlines in 2007, accumulating losses of Rs 5,000 crore every year, resulting in cumulative losses of Rs 47,145.62 crore in 2016-17. A high debt burden, heightened competition, high fuel prices, and a falling rupee are cited to be the reasons. Also to blame were high airport user charges.
29/10/18 MG Arun/Daily O
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