Aviation

Govt open to idea of Air India disinvestment: Minister

DELHI

The Narendra Modi government is open to the idea of disinvestment of Air India. This significant observation was made by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr Mahesh Sharma in an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld.

“Mentally we are prepared to revamp Air India — by disinvestment or any other suggestions that we get. In case we get a proposal to revive Air India by way of disinvestment or having a partner, we would love to explore it,” Sharma told BW Businessworld. This observation comes even as demands have been made that the government get out of the commercial airline business.

This observation comes even as demands have been made that the government get out of the commercial airline business. Air India had a total debt of Rs 40,000 crore as on 31 March. It is expected to turn around only by 2018-19. The airline is flying on a Rs 30,000 crore taxpayer bailout.

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent concern that the cut in aviation turbine fuel prices should be passed on to air passengers, Sharma said: “We have invited all the airlines for talks on September 15. PM expressed his concern that predatory prices in the hour of need should not be there. We propose to do this through a consensus.”

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