Air India privatisation: In one of the biggest reform moves, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has cleared the disinvestment of the national carrier and sell it to a private player, according to India Today TV. Exactly how that will transpire has not been revealed. According to the report, the Narendra Modi-led Central government had set a deadline of 1 year to sell Air India. Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said that there was long way to go but the process had already started. According to the channel, the process will be set in motion ‘as quickly as possible’. The national carrier has a debt of Rs 52,000 crore. The Cabinet is to decide sale process, revealed India Today channel . The report also states that Air India has to borrow Rs 2,500 crores every year just to survive.
Just 2 days ago, Air India’s plans to expand fleet was shelved. This followed NITI Aayog’s proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the total privatisation of the carrier. The carrier’s board of directors in March had approved proposal to induct 7 Boeing 787-9 aircraft in its fleet to provide better connection to passengers flying to Canada, the USA and Australia. Speaking at the time, an official had said, “The decision is on hold until there is a clarity on the airline’s future”. Meanwhile, KVJ Rao, General Secretary of the Air India Cabin Crew Association spoke to India Today and asked as to why the government was trying to privatise the Air India if the airlines had stabilised.