DIS­IN­VEST­MENT IN THE FLAG CAR­RIER AIR IN­DIA

SP's Airbuz - - News Briefs -

With the aims of mak­ing the flag car­rier a stronger global air­line, the gov­ern­ment is open to all op­tions in­clud­ing dis­in­vest­ment, to take flag car­rier Air In­dia to a new high, Civil Avi­a­tion Min­is­ter Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju said. The Min­ster and his deputy Jayant Sinha, how­ever, did not elab­o­rate on the op­tions other than dis­in­vest­ment avail­able to them.

Their re­marks came days after Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley said the gov­ern­ment

is ex­plor­ing all op­tions on the fu­ture of the na­tional car­rier, which has a debt bur­den of around 50,000 crore. The talks come against the back­drop of ar­gu­ments that there is no point in the gov­ern­ment pump­ing money into Air In­dia as part of its Turn Around Plan and Fi­nan­cial Restruc­tur­ing Plan (TAP-FRP). Un­der the TAP-FRP ap­proved in April 2012, the gov­ern­ment had com­mit­ted to in­fuse eq­uity of 42,182 crore in thed pe­riod 2011 to 2032. “The Niti Aayog has made some rec­om­men­da­tions. It has sug­gested that we need to have a strong and vi­able air­line. All cour­ses of ac­tions are be­ing ex­am­ined. We can­not dis­close be­yond this at this point of time. We have not closed any op­tions,” Raju told a press con­fer­ence on the achieve­ments of his Min­istry in the past three years. Asked whether the Min­istry of Fi­nance and the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion were on the same page on dis­in­vest­ment, he said that there is no point in view­ing this is­sue in a com­part- men­talised fash­ion, say­ing the gov­ern­ment has to be taken as one unit. Jayant Sinha said they have to sit to­gether and for­mu­late a “win­ning strat­egy” for the na­tional car­rier. He said that in 2015-16, Air In­dia made op­er­a­tional prof­its for the first time in the past ten years. In­dia’s lead­ing bud­get car­rier In­diGo has won the Best Op­er­a­tional Ex­cel­lence Award from Air­bus for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year after out­per­form­ing 46 other air­lines glob­ally. The se­lec­tion cri­te­ria for the award is based on data cov­er­ing two years of op­er­a­tion and tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tions such as the num­ber of air­craft in the fleet, daily util­i­sa­tion rate, tech­ni­cal re­li­a­bil­ity and the num­ber of de­lays caused due to flights for op­er­a­tional rea­sons. “It is a great honour to be the re­cip­i­ent of the cov­eted “Best Op­er­a­tional Ex­cel­lence” awards that not only recog­nise, but also re­ward a few A-320 Fam­ily op­er­a­tors who have ex­cel­lent air­craft util­i­sa­tion rate and flight hours, com­bined with ex­cel­lent Op­er­a­tional Re­li­a­bil­ity. To be recog­nised for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive time after Kuala Lumpur in 2014, it is a proud mo­ment to be re­ceiv­ing the award again for be­ing a large A-320 Fam­ily op­er­a­tor glob­ally. The fact that these are not jury awards, but based on a col­lec­tion of op­er­a­tional data, is a tes­ta­ment to the hard work that thou­sands of my col­leagues put in ev­ery day in a tough busi­ness and an even tougher en­vi­ron­ment. It is once more an ex­tremely proud mo­ment for me as an In­dian to see an In­dian car­rier be­ing ad­judged as the world’s best,” said Aditya Ghosh, Pres­i­dent, In­diGo.

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