Air India’s Net Provisional Loss At Rs 8,500 Crore In FY19, Civil Aviation Minister Says
Air India Ltd.'s net loss in 2018-19 is provisionally estimated at Rs 8,556.35 crore, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday, even as he reiterated the government’s commitment towards privatisation of the flag carrier.
Air India has been in loss since its merger with Indian Airlines in 2007-08. The loss is biggest since it was formed as a combined entity by merging the former state-run local and international airlines.
According to the minister, the preparation of Preliminary Information Memorandum for inviting Expression of Interest for Air India disinvestment is in process.
The Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism has approved re-initiation of process for the government's 100 percent stake in Air India, along with Air India Express and the carrier's stake in joint venture Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd.
The debt-laden airline has received an equity infusion of Rs 30,520.21 crore from fiscal 2011-12 till date, Puri said.
"Air India has received an equity infusion of Rs 30,520.21 crore till date from FY 2011-12, which includes financial support as per TAP/FRP and cash support in FY 2018-19," he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. In April 2012, United Progressive Alliance government had approved a Turnaround Plan/Financial Restructuring Plan for reviving the state-run carrier.
To prepare for the Air India privatisation, the government now is implementing a strategic plan, which includes a financial package and focus on increasing operational efficiencies, Puri said. The major components of the financial package for 2018-19 included a cash support of Rs 3,975 crore to Air India, inclusive of Rs 1,630 crore already infused in the airline in 2018-19.
Another component was for providing a "government guarantee of Rs 7,600 crore, inclusive of Rs 3,000 crore already provided to Air India in 2018-19, to raise new debt for payment of stretched liabilities".