Aviation

AI insures grounded planes for $6 mn despite massive debt

DELHI

In yet another sign of India’s national air carrier Air India’s callous attitude towards returning to profitability, the company has insured even grounded planes at a cost of $6 million despite its huge pile of debt and Rs 30,000 crore government bailout, says a PTI report.

Recognised pilots union, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) have now sought an inquiry into these allegations and the people responsible for the misstep.

“Six Boeing 737-200 Fs, which have been out of service for more than three years, are still being insured at USD 1 million each per annum or USD 6 million, for more than the past three years. We demand an immediate, time-bound investigation by an external agency to look into this huge financial irregularity,” ICPA General Secretary Shailender Singh said in a letter to Air India Chairman Rohit Nandan. The letter was also addressed to Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathy Raju and the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

The planes were also insured at a time when global aviation insurance premiums are rising. Air India had to renew its insurance for $29 million for 132 aircraft (including the 17 of AI Express and 8 of Alliance Air,) a cost nearly 20% higher than the $23 million it paid last year.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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