Air India debt: Govt may refinance three-fourth of airline’s Rs 29,000-crore debt

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Updated: February 13, 2019 7:09:53 AM

Air India reported loss of Rs 5,337 crore during FY18.

Air India reported loss of Rs 5,337 crore during FY18.

The government may refinance three-fourth of Air India’s Rs 29,000 crore debt, which has been transferred to a special purpose vehicle, through non-convertible debentures (NCDs) or fresh loans.

Air India has written to the ministry of civil aviation to refinance or restructure the debt as it will help reduce the interest burden.
“The government can look to refinance around Rs 22,000 crore through NCDs or fresh loans from banks which will help them reduce the cost of these borrowings,” an official told FE.

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The government last year transferred Air India’s working capital debt of around Rs 29,000 crore of its total liabilities to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Air India Asset Holdings (AIAHL). More than Rs 7,000 crore of that debt is already in the form of NCDs. Air India has a total debt of around Rs 55,000 crore. The official said this will help the national carrier move towards profitability.

“With oil prices coming down and greater operating efficiencies, the reduction in interest burden will help the airline,” he added.
The government has granted Rs 3,975 crore to Air India during FY19 under the turnaround plan. During the 2019-20 Budget, the government allocated Rs 1,300 crore to service Air India’s debt put in AIAHL. The allocations for the next fiscal was doubled to Rs 2,600 crore, which will used to service the debt of Rs 29,000 crore.

Air India reported loss of Rs 5,337 crore during FY18.

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