Government today said it has taken up the slots issue being faced by Air India at Dubai and Hong Kong airports with the aeronautical authorities of both the countries.
Government today said it has taken up the slots issue being faced by Air India at Dubai and Hong Kong airports with the aeronautical authorities of both the countries. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju informed the Lok Sabha that Air India is facing issues with airport slots in Dubai and Hong Kong. “The issue of slots in Dubai and Hong Kong has been specifically raised with their aeronautical authorities for immediate resolution,” Raju said in a written reply.
He said Air India did not get uniform daily slots for its flights to and from Dubai during NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) at Calicut from September 1, 2015 to March 25, 2017.
He added that the national carrier is “unable to start new flight on Mumbai-Hong Kong route due to non-availability of slots at Hong Kong”.
In a separate written reply, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said two cases related to Air India are “under investigation by the CBI”.
He was responding to a query by BJP member Nana Patole regarding irregularities in purchase of aircraft, including Boeing 737 at exorbitant prices by Air India in connivance with the Ministry during 2004 and reasons for not taking any legal action in this scam.
The member’s another query was whether the government proposes to probe the matter again in view of the judgement given by an Ontario court in Canada.
According to Patole, a paid agent of Canadian firm Cryptometrics and officials holding top posts in the Ministry and Air India were found involved in disputed and unnecessary projects including biometric system undertaken by the Ministry during 2004-2008.
“Both cases are under investigation by the CBI,” Sinha said.
Meanwhile, the government has made an equity infusion of Rs 23,993 crore into Air India till November this year under the turnaround plan for the carrier.
“Till November 2016, the government has already infused an amount of Rs 23,993 crore in the form of equity infusion into Air India.
“The company has achieved most of the targets set out in the TAP (Turnaround Plan) milestones, and has made progress in both operational as well as financial areas,” Sinha said in another written reply.
As per the TAP/FRP (Financial Restructuring Plan) for Air India, the government is to infuse Rs 30,231 crore as equity support and repayment of the government guaranteed loans/ interest till FY 2020-21.