Centre To Sell 100 Per Cent Stake In Air India, Confirms Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri

Centre To Sell 100 Per Cent Stake In Air India, Confirms Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep PuriReservation and ticketing counter of Air India (Representative Image) (Kalpak Pathak/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday (12 December) confirmed the central government had decided to sell all 100 per cent of its stakes in Air India Ltd. under the proposed disinvestment process, BloombergQuint reported.

In order to revive the state-owned airlines, which has been making losses since its merger with Indian Airlines in 2007-08, the central government has planned to disinvest in the undertaking. The current total debt burden on the airlines is over Rs 50,000 crore, while it suffered a net provisionally estimated loss of Rs 8,556.35 crore in 2018-19.

"After formation of the new government, Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) has been reconstituted and the re-initiation of the strategic disinvestment of Air India has been approved,” Puri said in a written response to a query raised in the Lok Sabha.

"AISAM has approved the 100 per cent sale of government of India stake in Air India for the re-initiated strategic disinvestment of Air India," the Civil Aviation Minister added.

Puri also assured that the government was opting to several measure to improve the suffering aviation sector. One of them being, handing over the aircrafts of Jet Airways (India) Ltd., which was grounded in April 2019 due to lack of funds, to other airlines.

"Airports Authority of India has embarked upon a capital investment of over Rs 25,000 crore in next five years for development/upgradation/modernisation of various airports and air navigation infrastructure," Puri said.