THE DECISION TRAP
IT WAS AMONG the wisest decisions taken, when the Finance Ministry junked Air India’s demand for a ` 30,000-crore fund infusion, reportedly because the airline didn’t present a turnaround plan.
The Finance Ministry had discussed a
` 11,000- crore bailout package with the Civil Aviation Ministry earlier when the attempt to sell a 76 per cent equity stake in the Maharaja bombed.
One could well argue that for a government preparing for the general elections next year, there are more urgent issues than reviving Air India. The airline has already sucked in ` 28,175 crore from the
` 30,231- crore (10-year) turnaround plan (TAP) approved by the previous government in 2012 with a marginal improvement in its operating profits for two consecutive years but with the deterioration in market fundamentals, Air India will most likely struggle with profitability yet again.