Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today expressed his concern over ‘poor’ financial condition of the airline and said that the government is mulling all options to revive India’s premiere airline, and that even privatisation is not exactly ruled out, an ANI report said. “Air India’s finances are very bad, impoverished part of Air India has to go, but we are looking at all alternatives to revive it,” the minister was quoted as saying by the agency.
When asked about the possibility of privatisation of the airline, the minister said that nothing can be ruled out, but the first priority is to improve the financial condition of the airline. “Nothing can be ruled out, want AI to survive, priority will be that; don’t want it to become history”, ANI quoted him as saying further.
Last month, Air India’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani had admitted in a social media post saying the airline’s massive debt “appears insurmountable,” which was the root of all the problems” for the airline, an Indian Express report said.
Defending Air India’s employees from criticism that accused them of being responsible for the downfall of the airline , Lohani claimed that the state-run carrier went down due to the ill-fated decision of the merger of the two organisations (Air India and Indian Airlines) that were not destined to be coupled with many other wrong decisions of the earlier regime,”the Indian Express report quoted him as saying.