NITI Aayog, in its report on the debt-laden Air India, has said that it is “unviable” to provide financial support to the national carrier. Air India has a debt of Rs 51,890 crore. The Government informed the Parliament that it has initiated a process for strategic disinvestment of Air India as part of efforts to revive the national carrier. As part of a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA dispensation, Air India was to receive a bailout package of up to Rs 30,231 crore for a period of 10 years, starting in 2012. “NITI Aayog in its report on Air India has stated that further financial support to an unviable non-priority company in a matured and competitive aviation sector would not be the best use of scarce financial resources of the government,” said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
The total outstanding loans of Air India as on September 30 last year stood at Rs 51,890 crore as per provisional figures. Of this, the aircraft loans account for Rs 18,364 crore and the working capital loans were at Rs 33,526 crore. In 2016-17, the airline had a net loss of Rs 3,643 crore, while the operating profit rose to Rs 215 crore, the provisional figures showed.