Monday, November 05, 2018

A manoeuvre few saw coming: Air India finds a way to cut its debt in half

New Delhi: The broad outline of a new revival plan for Air India is ready, the second such rescue bid in the state-run carrier’s recent history which includes a failed divestment effort earlier this year.
The new strategy will involve the government transferring the airline’s working capital debt of about Rs 29,000 crore to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) known as Air India Assets Holding (AIAHL). That will more than halve the debt burden of the carrier, three officials told ET.This new company, which will be headed by Air India’s chairman, will repay the debt and interest liabilities through the sale of the airline’s assets and subsidiaries.
The other members of the SPV’s six-member board will comprise Air India’s director, finance, and joint secretaries in the aviation ministry and the departments of expenditure, economic affairs and disinvestment.
“An equity infusion into Air India by the government is also being discussed,” said one of the persons cited above. “An approval for equity infusion from the parliament will be taken during the winter session.”
05/11/18 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times