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Air India Strategic Disinvestment

Government has decided to go ahead with the disinvestment plan of loss making Air India. Earlier NITI Ayog had recommended 100% stake sale. It had also recommended that government should write off the loan of around Rs 30000 Crore given to Air India because it will be impossible to divest unless the loan part is removed from the deal. Though a Parliamentary Panel is likely to recommend that the strategic sale be deferred by another five years and efforts be made to revive the loss making airline. The Union Cabinet has already given in-principle approval and the sale is likely to be completed by June 2018. Transaction Advisors have been appointed. The airlines which have shown interest in acquiring AI are Tata Group, IndiGo and Jet Airways. Some other airlines may join subsequently.

Financial health of Air India

Air India has a debt of about Rs 60,000 Crore. This includes aircraft related loans of around Rs 21,000 Crore and Rs 8,000 Crore working capital loan.

Loss making Indian Airlines

Taxpayer money given to Air India

Year 2014-2015 – Rs 5,780 Crore

Year 2015-2016 – Rs 3,300 Crore

Year 2016-2017 – Rs 2,465 Crore

Year 2017-2018 – Rs 1,800 Crore

Losses made by Air India

Year 2012-2013 – Rs 5,490 Crore

Year 2013-2014 – Rs 6,279 Crore

Year 2014-2015 – Rs 5,860 Crore

Year 2015-2016 – Rs 2,636 Crore

Year 2016-2017 – Rs 3,643 Crore

Loss in market share of Air India

Year 2012 – 20.70 % market share

Year 2013 – 18.50 % market share

Year 2014 – 17.50 % market share

Year 2015 – 16.20 % market share

Year 2016 – 12.90 % market share

Year 2017 – 13.60 % market share

Article by Col P Chandra (Retd)

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