Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Aviation ministry to plan Air India privatization, says Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance and defence minister Arun Jaitley has said the civil aviation ministry has been asked to plan for the privatization of Air India Ltd.

“Niti Aayog has given its suggestion to aviation ministry, now aviation ministry will have to explore all the possibilities on how to privatize Air India," Jaitley said on Thursday.

This is the most explicit stand on the airline by the government so far.

He said “the concerned ministry will devise that mechanism", on how to go about it.

The airline is currently running on a bailout package which has infused Rs25,000 crore over the past few years; another Rs25,000 crore is expected over the coming decade. 

The state-owned airline has a debt of about Rs50,000 crore, of which about Rs25,000 crore are loans taken to buy aircraft. Air India reported a loss of about Rs3,587 crore in 2015-16, compared with a loss of Rs5,859 crore in the previous fiscal year. 

The Economic Survey 2017 recommended that the government privatize Air India. 

Debt piled up and losses mounted at Air India following an aircraft deal worth $11 billion around 2005 and a botched merger with erstwhile domestic carrier Indian Airlines. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing what went wrong.

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Updated: 01 Jun 2017, 08:46 PM IST
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